Agricultural Land Reserve

Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR)

The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is a provincial designation in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are controlled. The ALR includes those lands within BC that have the potential for agricultural production. The ALR takes precedence over, but does not replace, other legislation and bylaws that may apply. Local and regional governments, as well as other provincial agencies, are expected to plan in accordance with the provincial policy of preserving agricultural land.

Confirm whether a property is within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) through our zoning map or by visiting the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission website 

If you have land within the ALR, it means that the land is subject to the Agricultural Land Commission Act and ALR regulations. Subdivision and non-farm use of lands require an application and approval by the ALC.

Requests to add, remove or subdivide land within the Agricultural Land Reserve or to accommodate a non-farm use on agricultural lands are made through us with final approval made by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).

When is an ALC application required?

An ALC application is required whenever a land owner of property within the Agricultural Land Reserve intends to:

  • include land
  • exclude land
  • subdivide land (including homesite severances)
  • use land for non-farm purposes.

What is considered “farm use”?

Various activities are designated as “farm use” as per the ALC Act and have use regulations. Examples of permitted uses include:

  • farming
  • farm stands
  • wineries & cideries
  • equestrian facilities
  • agricultural processing facilities

Examples of uses that are not outright permitted within the ALR (non-farm uses) include:

  • outdoor storage of non-agricultural related items
  • removal of soil
  • placement of fill

Refer to the ALC website for more information whether a use is or is not permitted within the ALR.