Dwellings in Agricultural Areas

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The number, size and siting of dwellings in agricultural areas is restricted. In Kelowna we have two agriculture zones and the residential provisions in each zone are different. To learn the zoning of your property, check out the Kelowna Map Viewer.

A1 - Agriculture Zone

The purpose of the A1 zone is to provide a specific zone for Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) parcels that permit agricultural uses and other complementary uses suitable in an agricultural setting. Properties in this zone are also subject to the provincial provisions of the ALR set out in the Agriculture Land Commission (ALC) Act and ALR regulations. 

Each property within the A1 zone is permitted one dwelling of 500 m2 (total floor area) or less. For larger properties that are 20,000 m2 (2.0 ha) or more, a second dwelling unit (up to 90 m2) may be permitted. These secondary uses include either a secondary suite, a mobile home, or a carriage house, and are restricted to 90 m2 in gross floor area. 

Any newly constructed primary dwelling or secondary detached dwelling, or addition (over 500 m2) to any existing primary dwelling or secondary dwelling, requires the registration of a farm residential footprint covenant on the property.

Farm Residential Footprint Covenant 

The purpose of this covenant is to maximize farming potential in agricultural areas, while limiting the impact of residential uses on farming and agricultural viable land. The maximum area of a farm residential footprint covenant for a primary dwelling is 2000 m2 and an additional 1,000 m2 covenant area is permitted for a secondary detached dwelling such as a carriage house or mobile home. 

ALC Application

A dwelling proposed that exceeds the allowable residential use provisions requires an ALC Non-Adhering Residential Use application. This includes temporary farm worker housing, and other dwellings for farm help, as well as constructing or altering a primary dwelling which will exceed 500 m2 in total floor area.

The ALC's consideration of non-adhering residential use applications is outlined in ALC Policy L-26 non-adhering residential use applications.

A2 - Agriculture/Rural Residential Zone

The purpose of the A2 zone is to provide a zone that allows for rural residential and agricultural land uses outside the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). 

Farm Help Dwellings

There are different requirements and processes depending on the duration for farm help and the type of housing proposed.

Full time farm help

Housing full-time farm help in an existing lawfully constructed residence does not require an application. Constructing a new dwelling to house full-time farm help must meet the City's and Agricultural Land Commission's (ALC) residential provisions on agriculture land. 

Temporary (seasonal) farm help

Before you can house temporary farm help on your property, you are required to apply for a Temporary Farm Worker Housing (TFWH) permit. The intent of the TFWH permit is to provide workers with temporary housing to assist farmers through times of intense labour requirements, such as thinning and harvesting. As such, this form of housing is expected to be temporary structures on non-permanent foundations and be communal in nature. Under some circumstances, existing structures can be converted to TFWH. 

To utilize an existing dwelling, convert an existing structure or to construct a new dwelling that is consistent with the residential provisions on agricultural land, only a TFWH permit application is required. To construct a new dwelling, convert an existing structure or place a temporary dwelling that exceeds the allowable residential use provisions, requires an Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) Non-Adhering Residential Use application an TFWH permit application. To learn more about the ALC application process visit the City's ALR Page and the ALC Website


Temporary Farm Worker Housing (TFWH) Permit

A TFWH Permit application is required to house temporary farm workers. If the number of workers is 1 to 8, the permit may be issued by the Department Manager, Development Planning. If the dwelling is for 9 or more workers, the permit will be forwarded to Council for their approvals before a permit can be issued. Before submitting your application, please review the following for guidance on the application:

Application Form and Requirements