Survey seeking support for funding the ALC ends this Sunday

The deadline for supporting improved ALC funding by completing the ALC Fee Review Consultation survey is 9pm THIS Sunday, July 8.

The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) under the direction of a progressive agricultural advocate Chair Richard Bullock is seeking public support for increasing fees for exclusion, subdivision and change of land use applications to the ALC to enable cost recovery, as the ALC is a funding-starved commission unable to properly protect Agricultural Reserve Lands (ALR).

Here is the web address for the survey:

The City of Langford has a checkered history of ALR Exclusions. In recent history, starting back in 2006 and continuing through to 2010, there were at least 10 applications for exclusion from the ALR made from landowners within the City of Langford. Langford City Council appointed a committee of Langford citizens and Councilor Lillian Szpak creating the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) to consider all 10 applications. The committee was subject of quite a bit of controversy as noted in the Inside Langford article, “ALR Exclusion applications forwarded to the ALC.” A local government, such as the City of Langford, can not decide to exclude, include, subdivide or do a change of use of ALR land, as the reserve in provincially governed, however the local government does get to include their own recommendation and effectively has a veto since the landowner can not apply directly to the ALC but must do so through their local government. So if a local government chooses to not forward an application it has effectively vetoed it. Other municipalities have done this, a recent example was the District of Saanich rejecting an application for ALR exclusion. In the end the City of Langford followed the recommendations of its Agricultural Advisory Committee and forwarded all 10 applications to the ALC for consideration.

Of those 10 application, 3 of them were allowed exclusion completely and 2 more were granted partial exclusion by the ALC. You can find a link to the ALC rulings on Green Langford under the subheading ALC Reports/Decisions and in another Inside Langford story, “Results of ALR removal applications,” that generated some interesting comments.

In the past, “the municipality of Langford toyed with the idea of applying to remove all its ALR land,” as quoted from Tyee article “How to Safeguard BC’s Farmland.” Against the wishes of some local residents the wetlands area known as Hull’s Field was excluded from the ALR and became a commercial development and City Centre Park.

The Garden City Lands Coalition Society has the ALC Fee survey link and links to some great examples to help you think of what you wish to highlight in the comment fields of the survey.

If you care about food security, local food production and Agricultural Reserve Lands (ALR) please TAKE this SURVEY NOW!!!

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