On July 29, 2016, the province updated the definition of "agritourism" and clarified the situation around non-farm use commercial events (weddings and music festivals, referred to as a "gathering for an event") on Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) land.
The new regulation permits events on ALR land if:
(i) The farm is located on land classified as a farm under the Assessment Act
(ii) No permanent facilities are constructed or erected in connection with the event
(iii) Parking for those attending the event is available on the farm, but must not be permanent nor interfere with the farm’s agricultural productivity
(iv) No more than 150 people, excluding residents and employees of the farm, may be gathered on the farm at one time for the purpose of attending the event
(v) The event must be of no more than 24 hours in duration
(vi) No more than 10 gatherings for an event of any type may occur on the farm within a single calendar
The following SLRD bylaws and regulations still apply to farms hosting a ‘gathering for an event’:
- All SLRD Noise Bylaws. All ‘gathering for an event’ uses must comply with the applicable SLRD noise bylaw. To protect farming, farmers, and agricultural viability no exemptions to a noise bylaw will be considered.
- No surfacing (gravel, fill, etc.) may be brought onto a farm for the purposes of parking.
- Any existing farm building or other structure used for events must have a valid SLRD building permit for assembly use.
The SLRD will be drafting amendment bylaws to incorporate the new ALR regulations into each zoning bylaw.
Staff are also in the process of developing policies to address the new non-farm uses permitted in the ALR.
Any questions on the new ALR regulations can be directed to the SLRD Planning Department at email@example.com.
For the full background, updated regulation and ongoing updates to agricultural policy, visit http://www.slrd.bc.ca/inside-slrd/current-projects-initiatives/alr-regulation-changes-agritourism-non-farm-use-commercial-events