New rules will allow property owners in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) increased housing flexibility.
Options for an additional small secondary home have been added to regulations, allowing farmers and ALR landowners to have both a principal residence and small secondary residence on their property with a streamlined approval process. Only permissions from local government or First Nations government will be required, and there will be no application to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).
The additional residence can be used for housing extended family, agritourism accommodation, housing for farm labour or a rental property for supplemental income. There is no longer a requirement that additional residences must be used by the landowner or immediate family members.
Examples of flexible housing options permitted under the regulation include, but are not limited to:
- garden suites, guest houses or carriage suites;
- accommodation above an existing building;
- manufactured homes; and
- permitting a principal residence to be constructed in addition to a manufactured home that was formerly a principal residence.
The changes respond to the feedback received in regional engagement sessions and to the ministry’s policy intentions paper, where ALR landowners made it clear they wanted this type of residential flexibility.
Farming families will continue to be able to apply to the ALC for multiple, larger homes if they are necessary for farming purposes.
The new rules come into effect Dec. 31, 2021.
For more information about the ALR, visit:
Facts about ALR housing flexibility
- The size of a small secondary residence will depend on the size of the land parcel and the existing home.
- On parcels 40 hectares or smaller, if the existing residence is 500 square metres (approximately 5,400 square feet) or less, a second residence of 90 square metres (approximately 970 square feet) or less can be built.
- If the existing residence is larger than 500 square metres, then a small secondary residence for non-farm use would not be permitted. However, farmers can still apply to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for an additional residence for farm use.
- On parcels larger than 40 hectares, a second residence 186 square metres (approximately 2,000 square feet) or less is permitted, no matter the size of the first residence.
- Landowners who had previously invested in a secondary manufactured home on their land have until Dec. 31, 2021, to ensure appropriate permits and authorizations are in place. This grandparenting period has been extended from the previous July 31 deadline.
- Filing a notice of intent for soil/fill use to the ALC for the additional residence continues to be a requirement.