British Columbia Wants to Curb Mega-Mansion Construction in the Agricultural Land Reserve

Farmers around Vancouver's Agricultural Land Reserve have been building "mega-mansions" on their farmland. The province wants to limit the scale of such homes, but farmers are pushing back.
November 22, 2018, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A farm in Richmond, British Columbia.
Eric Buermeyer

"In Metro Vancouver, where stress over property prices permeate every facet of life, even farmland is part of the increasingly contentious debate. The focus: 'mega mansions' built on arable land," reports Melanie Green.

More specifically: "The province tabled a bill two weeks ago outlining significant changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve — a collection of land spanning roughly 5 million hectares, dedicated in 1973 to the prioritization and protection of agriculture — to include a mandate capping the size of so-called 'monster homes.'"

The province hopes the legislation will ease the barrier for entry to the profession for farmers and protect the sustainability of the Agricultural Land Reserve. A coalition of opponents, representing 1,500 farmers and called the BC Farmland Owners Association (BCFOA), argues the legislation would have a negative impact on farming families.

The article includes more details about the political context for the legislation, and some of the controversies that preceded the current situation. Further debate on the bill is expected in committee this week.

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