"Minor" subdivisions of land

Maroc maroc at islandnet.com
Fri Aug 17 04:34:18 EDT 2001

Marc Nameth,  even with an Agricultural Land Reserve firmly in place for
nearly 30 years here in British Columbia the problem you mention still
exists.  People who cashed in their expensive urban properties come here
and want a country estate, often they are into horses but seldom any real
farming.  They contract some hay cut or finish off a beef or two and manage
to get farm status which greatly reduces their land taxes (you only need
$2500 farm gate sales to get farm classification for taxes).  The land
stays in the ALR but is taken out of farming.  We are slowly losing our
dairy farms, which are usually 100 to 150 acres, most often made up of
three or four or more parcels (because of our strange land-use history).
The houses these urban people build are usualy much too lavish to ever be
sold to future prospective farmers, especially young farmers just starting
out, so there will likely be pressures to remove some of these properties
from the ALR.  There ain't nothin' perfect I guess, especially where money
and humans are mixed.

The problem of land already zoned residential and commercial is a tough
one, although the current provincial law here states that local governments
cannot be held financially liable for "down" zoning property.  But it very
rarely happens without the owner's permission.  We are not having problems
with expansion of urban/suburban areas right now because our economy is
stagnant and young people are moving away, not moving in.

Don Maroc
Vancouver Island, Canada

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