Thursday 26 August 2021

BC's Agricultural Land Reserve

The ALR is a land term that has been around in BC for decades. Most people know it has something to do with farmland, but what is the ALR exactly? Can you build in the ALR zone? What does it mean to own land in the ALR?

ALR land Haida Gwaii

According to the BC Government: The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is a provincial land zone in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are restricted. ALR land makes up 5% of BC's total land-base.

This does not mean you can't simply live on ALR property. There is no requirement to farm, however there are restrictions on what else you can do on the land. Keep in mind that most ALR land is in an agriculture-rich area, so even if you are not farming your land it is probable that properties around you are being used for agricultural purposes.

ALR land Quadra Island

Properties within the ALR should have it noted on their title, although the Agriculture Land Commission (who oversees the ALR) warns that this is not definitive. Mapping is a help in determining what land is within the ALR as well, and the ALC website hosts a number of mapping applications.

ALR mapping

The Vancouver Island region has ALR land in a number of areas, including in what might be thought of as rural residential areas close to urban centres, so it is good to do your homework when it comes to owning property in this distinct land class. This is something we research on our listings and provide mapping information for if a property does live

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday 12 August 2021

Moorage in BC

 While some of our remote access listings can be reached by vehicle, the majority of them are water access. While the occasional buyer may have a float plane, for most people water access means arriving by boat.

So where does the boat park? Unlike a driveway which generally is on the owned property, docks and other moorage options are in the water, which is not owned privately. 

Docks must be granted permission by the government. In the past this meant a license of occupation, or a special permission document. Since 2017 many of the oceanfront properties in BC are covered under general permission, which does not require direct application to the government but does require adherence to certain rules.

Information on moorage in BC can be found here. This provides details on General Permission as well as when actual documentation and application is required (for instance if you do not own the upland directly in front of where you want to place the moorage).

Once the rules for moorage are understood, then begins the assessment for what type of moorage. Although most common, not all properties are candidates for docks due to location, weather conditions, extreme local tides, local boat traffic, etc. Mooring buoys, pulley/anchor systems and in some cases a local public dock are all options to be considered when a dock isn't the right solution.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!