Not sure where to start? This article serves as both a good introduction and a recap of the lead up to the current exclusion process: ALR Exclusion applications forwarded to the ALC

The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) was created in the mid-1970s by the provincial government, with the goal of preserving farmland from development. Most of Langford’s ALR land is in the Happy Valley area. At present there are several proposals for exclusion (ie. removal) from the ALR in Langford.

The City of Langford contracted Brian French to produce a report on the properties within the ALR in Langford, which was delivered in 2007. Brian French now serves on Langford’s Agricultural Advisory Committee which has produced recommendations on whether specific proposals for removal should be excluded or not. His report is available here (6MB).

There are ten requests for exclusion that have been reviewed by Langford’s Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC), and forwarded to the ALC by Langford Council. Here are the staff reports generated by City of Langford staff on nine of the properties that had written reports:

“Applications to Exclude the Properties at 3569, 3577 and 3579 Happy Valley Road and 935 Latoria Road from the Agricultural Land Reserve.”

“Application to remove 3622 Happy Valley Road from the Agriculture Land Reserve”

“Application to remove 3634 Happy Valley Road from the Agriculture Land Reserve”

“Application to Exclude the Property at 3660 Happy Valley Road from the Agricultural Land Reserve.”

09-06-10 Agricultural Advisory Committee agenda
Applications to Exclude the Properties at 3398 Luxton Road and 3639 Happy Valley Road from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Information on two more properties up for exclusion is available in this article: Langford’s AAC to reconsider 2 properties

The tenth property being looked at is 3420 Luxton Road, where a proposal to create a storm water pond and multi-use field on ALR land has been proposed as an exclusion/non-ALR use has not had a report that was made public.

A Langford resident has produced an info sheet with a different perspective on some of the proposed exclusions, and a lot of good information for people who want to have their say on the proposals (whether by mail, by email, or in person in front of Council):


The best way to download the files listed above, for most people, is to right-click on the file link and select “Save Target As” (or similar) to download, rather than simply left-clicking on it. On most computers, right-clicking will give you a progress indicator, which is useful when downloading these large files.

Other sources of information on this are “Agriculture, Food Security, Eco Tourism” site Green Langford, and the City of Langford‘s website.


26 Responses to “ALR”

Dieter said

February 8, 2009 at 11:45 am
Agricultural advisory committee in Langford. You would think they are wiping the food off their table.–D.

Anonymous said

March 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Land commission, pushed by court, has new rules

MARCH 24, 2009

Agricultural land commissioners, who decide the fate of farmland across B.C. and Vancouver Island, must now recuse themselves from any decision that involves their neighbours, relatives or business associates, according to new conduct rules.

The changes come after a stinging B.C. Supreme Court decision last month, which overturned an Agricultural Land Commission ruling because commissioner John Kendrew was in a conflict of interest. Kendrew sat on a northern panel that in 2006 approved removal of 15 hectares from the agricultural land reserve in Pouce Coupe, despite the fact that Kendrew owned adjacent land.

“We accept the ruling, and there’s no intent on the part of the commission to appeal that decision,” said Colin Fry, commission executive director. “We believe it’s a lesson learned on the appearance of bias and how it’s defined.”

It’s not the first criticism against Kendrew, who stepped down as a commissioner in 2004 to help get family property in Sooke removed from the land reserve. He was then re-appointed and his term expired last year.

Commissioners are appointed by the provincial government and are supposed to issue unbiased rulings on whether protected farmland can be altered or removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve. There are 4.7 million hectares of protected farmland in B.C., of which 115,500 are on Vancouver Island.

The new code of conduct forbids commissioners from ruling on cases where they, their family or business colleagues, own land next to the property in question. If they violate the rules, they could be reprimanded, suspended or fired.

There are no plans to review past decisions to look for previous conflicts, said Fry.

Critics say they’re unimpressed with the changes because, at best, they bring the commission’s conflict of interest rules up to the bare minimum of other government bodies. “You’d have expected them to be doing that already,” said Dave Sands, of the citizen-run ALR Protection Enhancement Committee.

It will be up to individual commissioners to declare their conflicts, said Fry, who added he’s “very confident” they will do so because of a recent “refresher course” on the subject.

NDP agriculture critic Charlie Wyse said it’s a bit late for the commission to be toughening rules. “The horse is out of the barn,” he said. Wyse said the B.C. government needs to do away with the commission’s six regional panels entirely, and return to a system of provincial oversight that better protects farmland.

The commission has confidence in its regional panel system, said Fry.

Kelly Granger said

March 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm
Thanks for your posting of TC article on conflict of interest and appearance of bias in the Agricultural Land commission.

Cheryl McLachlan said

June 22, 2009 at 1:32 am
These are the properties currently forwarded by Langford City Council to the Provincial ALC:

3577 and 3579 Happy Valley Road – ALR-06-02
3569 Happy Valley Road -ALR-08.04
935 Latoria Road – ALR-08-05 (File Nos. ALR -06-02, 08-04, 08-05)
the City would support the following parcels of land to be excluded from the ALR
i) The entire property at 3569 Happy Valley Road;
ii) 0.79 acres of land (44% of the land) on the south western portion of the property
at 3577 Happy Valley Road;
iii) 4.86 acres (66.5% of the total land) of land on the south eastern portion of the property at 3579 Happy Valley Road; and
iv) 2.79 acres (50% of the total land) of land on the eastern portion of the property at 935 Latoria Road.

the City support the exclusion of property at 3660 Happy Valley Road

the City would not object to the removal of land at 3622 Happy Valley Road
Note change, property is not forwarded until bylaw concerns are addressed:
Agricultural Advisory Committee amend its recommendation of January 5th, 2009 with regard to 3622 Happy Valley to stipulate that the ALR application be set aside until bylaw enforcement issues with respect to that property are resolved.

the City would not object to the removal of land at 3634 Happy Valley Road

the City would not object to the subdivision of land at 3420 Luxton Road that
lies within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) or the use of the easterly portion
(approximately 1.2 he, or 3 acres) of the land at 3420 Luxton Road for non-farming uses within the ALR, so that the property may be used for stormwater management (retention or detention) and community recreation, and that Council would not object to the removal of the remainder of the property at 3420 Luxton Road from the ALR (being a portion near the centre of the property at 3420 Luxton Road that lies within the ALR and a road access to that portion of the property from Luxton Road.)

Cheryl McLachlan said

August 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm
Staff at the provincial Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) confirm that the application for 3622 Happy Valley Road to be excluded from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) has been received at the ALC, so one must assume that the bylaw issues have been addressed.

“The City would not object to the removal of land at 3622 Happy Valley Road
Note change, property is not forwarded until bylaw concerns are addressed:
Agricultural Advisory Committee amend its recommendation of January 5th, 2009 with regard to 3622 Happy Valley to stipulate that the ALR application be set aside until bylaw enforcement issues with respect to that property are resolved.”

Cheryl McLachlan said

August 16, 2009 at 4:21 am
ALR watchers will note that the resolutions of the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) of the June 10, 2009 committee meeting are coming before Council this Monday night for 3398 Luxton Road and 3639 Happy Valley Road.

At the previous AAC meeting, March 30th, 2009, Langford’s AAC considered these same two properties and there was no agreement on the committee if or what compensation could be made for the loss of the ALR lands within Langford. At that June 10 meeting the committee spent considerable time attempting to come up with a formula for a contribution to the City of Langford’s Agricultural Land Reserve Fund as some sort of compensation for the loss of ALR land within Langford. The committee suggested a formula should be designed by those more knowledgeable of land and property values then themselves, perhaps by the Planning and Zoning Committee or Langford Council but did suggest a possible formula of 20% of the property value at the time of rezoning, recognizing the vast increase in the value of land as soon as it is excluded from the ALR, meaning a windfall profit for the landowner. However, this same effect means that attempting to use the Langford Agricultural Land Reserve Fund to buy land suitable for agriculture (flat, open, good drainage, and good top soil or top soil that can be remediated) is incredibly expensive, because that also describes properties that are a developers’ or a builders’ dream.

p. 65/119 PDF Monday, August 17th 7PM Council Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

a) 3398 Luxton Road ( File No. ALR-06-05)
b) 3639 Happy Valley Road (File No. ALR-09-01)
– submit a letter report to the Agricultural Land Commission stating
that the City would support the exclusion
– City of Langford will request a cash contribution to
the City’s Agricultural Land Reserve Fund at the time of rezoning in an amount
that represents a percentage of the fair return on the increased value of the land
as determined by Council, and that this is suggested to be at least 20% of the
value of the land, as determined by appraisal, at the time of rezoning:

Bea McKenzie said

August 18, 2009 at 9:58 pm
Anyone know of a really good stand-up comic? Here in Langford,there is a painfully, side-splitting, sinfully rich cache to choose from for a very entertaining show! Good natured of course; like a dunk tank at the fair. Mary Walsh meets you know who….

Cheryl McLachlan said

August 20, 2009 at 8:38 pm
At this past Langford Council meeting on Monday, August 17th mayor & council resolved to “submit a letter report to the Agricultural Land Commission stating that the City would support the exclusion of 3398 Luxton Road ( File No. ALR-06-05)and 3639 Happy Valley Road (File No. ALR-09-01). Mayor Young confirmed that the City of Langford’s Agricultural Land Reserve Fund would be the recipient of the cash contribution calculated as 20% of the value of the land at the time of rezoning. This would mean Langford would receive no cash when the land was removed from the ALR, but would expect 20% of the value of the land at the time it is rezoned when the proponent would come to the City with a rezoning application. Rezoning of ALR land is very limited so the first step in most rezoning applications of ALR land is usually to have the land removed from the ALR.

These 2 applications will be, I presume, forwarded by the City of Langford to the ALC shortly for consideration. If you wish to express your opinion on these exclusion applications, or find out if the ALC will be holding any hearings on these properties, you can write to, or email:

Land Use Planner, ALC
Gordon Bednard
Vancouver Island
Tel: 604 660-7011

Provincial Agricultural Land Commission
133-4940 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC V5G 4K6
Tel: 604 660-7000
Fax: 604 660-7033

Be sure to note the specific property addresses you are making a submission about, and address the issues of land use and the capability of the land to produce food and/or support agriculture, and whether there is a net benefit to agriculture, as I believe these are the factors the ALC commissioners take into consideration.

Anonymous said

August 30, 2009 at 3:51 pm
Here’s my email of aug 30-09 to the ALC:

Dear Mr. Bednard

Proposed Exclusions of 3398 Luxton Road and 3639 Happy Valley Road From the Agricultural Land Reserve.

I am writing to request that the Panel reject these two applications (as well as the applications on which I wrote earlier, that is, 3577, 3579, 3569, 3660, 3622, 3634 Happy Valley Road 935 Latoria Road and change in use at 3420 Luxton Road.

These excisions will harm to agriculture today and tomorrow, not only on these lands, but also on other lands.

Located in a flood plain, these lands have high agricultural potential. This is demonstrated by the viable small farms elsewhere in the same flood plain. All that is lacking is farmers’ effort. With rising food and transportation costs, we may be certain that regional markets for local produce will expand. Retaining a capability to meet these demands is a matter of simple food security. A situation in which less than 10% of food consumed on the island is produced here is simply unsustainable in the medium and long term.

The panel should take explicit account of the fact that excision of these parcels will reduce the potential of other parcels in the area. The excisions are sought basically to allow high density residential development. The new residents are certain to protest (successfully) agricultural “nuisances” (smells, sounds, dust), and, to add injury to injury, cause actual damage themselves through vandalism by children and depredation by pets.

I look forward to hearing that the Panel will prevent the irreversible damage which would arise from these excisions.

In the meantime, please also keep me informed of the date and place of the panel hearing on these applications.

Yours sincerely,

Frank Mitchell

Cheryl McLachlan said

September 15, 2009 at 11:22 pm
Last we knew the intent was the ALC Commissioners would walk the ALR properties and meet with the landowners for the properties proposed for exclusion or non-ALR use, then visit Langford City Hall. It will be very interesting and relevant how the decisions go.

Cheryl McLachlan said

December 15, 2009 at 2:47 pm
The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), the BC government authority that decides whether applications to exclude (remove) land from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), will reportedly be making their decision on the ten exclusion applications from Langford property owners on Dec. 17th and 18th. And all without any public hearing. Although not legally a necessity, in the past it was common to have regional ALC hearings to allow for further public input prior to the decision being made. Sadly it seems times and practices have changed. I encourage you to contact your provincial representatives and the Agricultural Land Comission to ask for more public input in the form of a public hearing into these decisions, and express your opinion on the proposed exclusions before the decision is finalzed shortly.

Here are some contacts you may find helpful:

Premier Gordon Campbell –

John Horgan, MLA for Juan de Fuca –

Agriculture Critic Lana Popham –

Jane Sterk, Leader of BC’s Green Party –

Roger Cheetham,, Regional Planner, ALC-
(Ph: 604 660-7020 FAX: 604 660-7033)

Erik Karlsen, Chair, Agricultural Land Commission –

Cheryl McLachlan said

December 28, 2009 at 12:35 am
An interesting article about a plan for agro-business to save dieing car town Detroit. If they can create agro-business in Detroit, a city of factories and warehouses, you can contemplate a shift to local food production as a major part of the economy of a community anywhere.

I always think, as an island, we islanders are totally reliant on ferries and planes to bring us our food. Most estimates peg 85% of the food consumed on Vancouver Island comes from off the island. Longterm that is neither economically nor environmentally sustainable. We need to find out how and where we can grow food, and get on with it. The market is there. Local farmers have no shortage of customers – just shortages of land they can afford, land they can farm, labourers to help staff the farm and farmers willing to farm! Most farms do not even need to get their produce to market, the custmers will happily come to them for locally grown fresh produce if they know how to find the farmer, because a local farm and a local farmer are a rare breed.

“Investors see farms as way to grow Detroit”

By P.J. Huffstutter
Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2009,0,7336715.story

“Detroit, they say, needs to get back to what it was before Henry Ford moved to town: farmland.”

“Farming is how Detroit started,” Score said, “and farming is how Detroit can be saved.”

“Local leaders say they are encouraged by the idea of farm jobs coming to Detroit, which could help ease the region’s grim economic situation: The Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn area had an unemployment rate of 17.7% in October, the highest in a region of 1 million residents or more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

“And in a city where there are no major grocery store chains, and more than three-fourths of the residents buy their food at convenience stores or gas stations, the idea of having easy access to fresh produce is appealing.”

Anonymous said

December 28, 2009 at 8:52 am
“we islanders are totally reliant on ferries and planes to bring us our food”

Point of Fact: We currently rely on ferries to bring us our food, but we are not totally reliant on these forms of transportation. There are terminals on Vancouver Island that can load and unload rail cars, containers and bulk goods. It is also quite possible to load and unload vehicles and supplies directly from barges at any number of locations around the islands. It is a complete myth that we islanders are totally reliant on ferries, and we would not be reliant on them in the event of an emergency.

Anonymous said

December 31, 2009 at 1:54 pm
Thanks Anonymous, it is always nice to hear from someone on this site that actually knows what they are talking about, instead of the regular posters who just want to see their name written somewhere.

Cheryl McLachlan said

January 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm
Anonymous from Dec. 28th (if you will not post under your name – and why is that? – could you not use a nickname to avoid confusion…?) My point was more about most of our food needs to travel from the mainland, usually over the water, which is not always going to be economically feasible with the growing cost of fuel for the ships, barges and then the refrigerator trucks for cash strapped families. And how many refrigerator containers/barges are there to transport perishable goods to the island – or are we expected to live off of canned goods? Spam and canned peaches it would be! And the cost of powering a refrigerator unit across the strait on a slow moving barge would surely add to the cost of transportion. And the other concern is longer and stronger storms preventing safe transporttation for days on end, and I would think if the weather stops the big sea worthy ferries from running, which occasionally happens now, it would also prevent barges from sailing and especially from successfully docking. Back in the 1960s it is eastimated more than 85% of our food came from this island, now it is estimated only 10-15% of it does. Estimates are in 3 days, barring panic buying making that much shoter, our grocery stores would be out of persishable goods and dangerously low on dry and canned goods. This is most likely to happen in the stormy late autumn, winter, and early spring when people do not have their own gardens to supplement their food stores. Not that it is impossible, but just that many families have forgotten, lost or never had the knowledge of how to keep year-around crop production going, and then how to dry cold store, preserve, pickle, home-can or dehydrate their bounty for the leaner growing months. Also, a lot of the new smaller sized homes and condos just do not have the garden space and/or the unheated (but not freezing) dry storage space to put up the volume of food you would want to store. In the “olden days” people went to the grocery store once or twice a month, today most people I know get stuck going to the grocery store once or twice a week if they eat at home regularly. If the grocery store shelves were bare – they’d run out of food for their family in a few days……….. and the restaurants would be out of food too.

Cheryl McLachlan said

January 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm
Anonymous of Dec. 31st – its not my fault you chose to hide your identity – you too could have your “name written somewhere,” you simply just have to post under it. I do not hide my views, nor am I shameful that I have interests and concerns about my community and my island home. As a 3rd generation descendent of settlers from a foreign land to Fort Victoria I feel very connected and entwined with this land and do not apologize for that but contrarily I am proud of it.

Happy New Year to ALL, and here’s hoping 2010, with the many local, regional, provincial, country-wide and world-wide issues and decisions that are to be considered, that many more citizens will find their voices and work very hard to ensure that those elected to represent them are serving their interests justly. I think with the ground swell of world-wide awareness and knowledge of the complexities of dealing with climate change science and the politics of creating an agreement, or lack-there-of by-in-large thanks to Canadian elected representatives, in Copenhagen, has awaken a populace that had been lulled to sleep in the false belief that those we put in charge were acting in our best interests. There are many issues to be dealt with in 2010, on the world and national front climate change solutions, the Afgan detainee issue, nationally the passage of HST law, provincially the 2010 Olympics, funding cuts to social and health program, HST, and regionally sewage solutions, sites and costs, and locally – take your pick – parkland in Floence Lake to be sold off and developed? 10 applications to the ALC to exclude ALR land within Langford approved or not? outstanding loans the City of Langford has not been repaid, money needed for the City’s 1/3 portion for City Centre Park to match the promised infrastructure funding from the provincial and federal governments from where and how? There are many more I have failed to cover that I believe all citizens need to be aware of, as its their home, their community, big or small, locally or as a world-citizen.

Spencer Road User said

January 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm
Thank you, Cheryl, for explaining to those who don’t get it that “ferries & planes” was used in place of “transportation by various means & modes”. The other point I thought of was – do these same folks think that the docks and unloading areas (private runways, etc) would be miraculously spared if those for BC Ferries and the airport were to meet total destruction?

These people may be the first to go hungary if they can’t figure out the easy stuff.

Cheryl McLachlan said

January 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm
In an email to Bea McKenzie, Roger Cheetham, Regional ALC Planner for the Island, Kootenay, and the North, reports the expected decision by the ALC Comissioners regarding 10 exclusion applications from landowners within the City of Langford has not yet been made, and that there will be a public meeting held.

“Hi Bea. No decision yet. The Commission is planning to hold a public meeting. I will provide details later when we have a better idea of the arrangements.
Roger Cheetham, Regional Planner
Ph 604 660 7020
FAX 604 660 7033

—–Original Message—–
From: Bea McKenzie
Sent: Monday, January 4, 2010 9:15 AM
To: Cheetham, Roger ALC:EX
Subject: Langford ALR

Good Morning Roger:

Please let me know the Dec.17th – 18th decision for the Langford ALR
exclusion applications results.

Cheryl McLachlan said

January 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm
Great video on Canadian food production and the need for EATING LOCAL:

Cheryl McLachlan said

April 28, 2010 at 11:46 pm
The Agricultural Land Commission says MLA John Les made improper boundary adjustments when he was mayor of Chilliwack, Eric Rankin of CBC News reports:

(note: link will automatically load and play, proceeded by a 10-15 second ad)

Cheryl McLachlan said

June 26, 2010 at 3:34 am
Richard Bullock, a long time orchardist and entrepeneur from Kelowna has been appointed appointed both chairman of the Agricultural Land Commission and its chief executive officer.

Cheryl McLachlan said

July 1, 2010 at 6:43 pm
There were exclusions of ALR lands allowed by the Agricultural Land Commission just this Spring within the City of Langford. Check out:

for more details.

Cheryl McLachlan said

October 19, 2010 at 3:48 am
Small scale farming is how we feed the world tomorrow, so had better support it and save it today.

UN expert calls for farming changes

“GENEVA, Oct 16, 2010 (AFP) – The United Nations top official on the right to food called for wholesale changes in farming methods to safeguard the environment and ensure everyone has enough to eat.

“De Schutter said the emphasis on chemical fertilisers and a greater mechanisation of production was “far distant from the professed commitment to fight climate change and to support small-scale, family agriculture.”

In addition, “giving priority to approaches that increase reliance on fossil fuels is agriculture committing suicide,” he said.

“Instead there should be a global promotion of low-carbon farming, he said, adding that “agriculture must become central to mitigating the effects of climate change rather than a large part of the problem.”

Cheryl McLachlan said

May 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm
If you are concerned at all about local food production please become informed about this CRD proposed change to policy:

Here is the petition:

Background (Preamble):
On May 25th 2011, the CRD will decide the future of our local environment and food safety and security on the South Island. Let them know that safe food and farming practices and our natural environment matter to you by signing this petition against the application of sewage-based biosolids in the CRD!

However, on April 21st, 2011 the Saanich Peninsula Waste Commission passed a motion to start a pilot-project that would see huge amounts of Class A biosolids applied to Saanich farmland producing hay and feed for animals.

We, the undersigned, hereby express our support of the current CRD CALWC ban on the land application of biosolids, and strongly oppose plans by the Saanich Peninsula Waste Commission to conduct a pilot-project of large-scale biosolid application to regional farmland.

Please keep Unsafe Human Waste Off BC’s Lands, Waterways and Dinner Plates!

Cheryl McLachlan said

July 7, 2012 at 5:27 am
This group has the ALC Fee survey link and some great examples to help you think of what you wish to highlight in the comments. If you care about food security and local food production – Please TAKE this SURVEY NOW!!!


“The deadline for supporting improved ALC funding is 9 p.m., Sunday, July 8.

If you go to “Supporting ALC funding proposal:

It will link you to the online consultation form and other relevant pages. Quick brief action now will help continue the food-security success in strengthening the Agricultural Land Commission and ALR in the past two years.

Jim Wright
President, Garden City Lands Coalition Society

P.S. A few details for those who wish to read some here:

The ALC Fee Review Consultation is essentially seeking public support for increasing fees for applications to the Agricultural Land Commission to enable cost recovery. That would remedy situations like the woefully inadequate $600 fee for the second (2008) application to exclude Richmond’s Garden City Lands from the ALR, a massive application that drew a massive response from citizens, chewing up the resources of the funding-starved commission.

My view: As long as the cost-recovery method complements improved government funding (as opposed to replacing it), the proposal should strengthen the commission, and that is good for food security.

One can complete the online consultation form in five minutes or take a little longer to add some informed comments. Either way, it is an important step. From a very weak state as recently as two years ago, the commission is much stronger, and the Agricultural Land Reserve is much stronger with it.”

Cheryl McLachlan said

September 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm
Good news about changes to how the ALC will do the business of protecting and preserving BC’s agricultural land from Richard Bullock, Chair of the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission: