Farm help dwellings

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In accordance with the Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation, no more than one residence is permitted on a property within the ALR unless the additional residences are necessary for farm use. This is further clarified under Agricultural Land Commission Policy #9 – Additional Residences for Farm Use.

What qualifies as ‘necessary for farm use’?

  • Property must have ‘Farm Status’ from BC Assessment;
  • Farming on the property should exceed the Ministry of Agriculture minimum requirements for an additional dwelling for farm employee;
  • There must be at least 1.0 person equivalent employed at a full time level in addition to the occupant of principal dwelling working at the farm;
  • There must be no alternative accommodation within 20 kilometres of the farm; and
  • There must be a demonstrated need for the employee to be present on split shifts of extended hours on a regular basis.

Council Policy No. 03 – Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) Referrals

Since 2012, City Council has sent all requests for additional dwellings for permanent farm help to the Agricultural Land Commission. An application under Section 20(3) of the ALC Act is required in order to process this request.

Criteria for an additional dwelling for farm help

Section 219 Covenant

A Section 219 Covenant, indicating that the dwelling is for full time farm help and must be removed should the level of the operation change such that the operation does not qualify for full time farm help (according to current guidelines) must be registered on the title of the property.

Dwelling Size

Maximum footprint of 150 m

Dwelling location

A farm help dwelling (permanent) must be:

  • on same lot as principal dwelling
  • separate from principal dwelling
  • 15 m or less from principal dwelling, or
  • within a farm homeplate of 60 x 60 m maximum


A farm homeplate could be defined as the site area of an additional dwelling for farm employee plus the associated farm residential facilities.

A farm homeplate must be contained within a contiguous area no greater than 3600 m2 including those portions of the existing farmhouses and their associated ancillary farm residential structures that should be located more than 60 m from the front, interior, rear or exterior property lines.

Temporary farm worker housing

Temporary farm worker housing is permitted under certain conditions. Please see here for additional information.