Judge rules against ALC on rural B.C. subdivision

The ALC can’t change the definition of an acre, the judge ruled.

Two acres means two acres, a B.C. judge has ruled in a case over Agricultural Land Commission jurisdiction.

A Langley landowner recently won her case and will be allowed to subdivide a property because it’s very, very slightly less than two acres in size.

In 2009, Kathryn Guse bought a parcel of land in rural Langley Township. In 2015, she applied to the Township to subdivide the site into four lots of approximately half an acre each.

The Township raised no objections, but notified the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) because the property was next to farmland.

Property in the Agricultural Land Reserve normally needs ALC approval for subdivision, but in this case the Township felt that since the land had been surveyed at 1.997 acres, it was exempt from that rule. Any lot less than two acres in size is exempt.

The ALC wrote back and objected, saying the property “should be considered to be two acres because it was more than 1.995 acres.”

The ALC had updated its policies to consider any property of 1.995 acres and up as being equivalent to two acres or more.

That led to a hearing before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Sewell.

Sewell ruled the ALC’s rules are not meant to apply to any property smaller than two acres.

“In summary, I find that there is only one reasonable interpretation of [the regulation] and that the decision and the policy on which it is based are unreasonable because they ignore the plain meaning of the section as informed by the legislative context,” Sewell wrote.

He overturned the ALC’s decision and declared the lot is exempt from the ALC’s jurisdiction over subdivision.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes

Four of the tiny homes are now complete and residents have moved in

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Most Read