Agricultural Land Commission

The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is BC’s provincial zone that preserves agricultural land for the future. Agriculture is recognized as the priority use within the ALR, and non-agricultural uses are restricted. The ALR is regulated by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) under the ALC Act.

Find information on buying and owning land within the ALR here.

If your land is in the ALR, any proposed land-use changes on your property may require prior approval from the ALC. The ALC requires applications for the following:

  • Non-Adhering Residential Use
  • Non-Farm Use
  • Subdivision
  • Inclusion
  • Transportation, Utility and Recreational Trail Use
  • Soil Use for Placement of Fill or Removal of Soil
  • Exclusion (Provincial Government, Local or First Nation Governments, and Prescribed Public Bodies only)

Find more information on each application type and associated requirements here. All applications will be submitted through the ALC Portal.

ALC and Local Governments

The ALC supports coordinated and collaborative planning with local governments to ensure agricultural lands are protected. Local governments are usually the first point of contact when someone makes an application to the ALC. Local governments receive and review the application and the municipal Council decides whether to forward the application to the ALC for final decision. Therefore, it is important for applications to align with regulations set by both the municipal government and the ALC. Municipal governments are permitted to be more restrictive than the ALC where they see fit.

An objective in the District of Saanich Official Community Plan is to protect agricultural land for current and future generations, and continuing to support the ALR is a means of achieving this. When deciding whether to forward an application to the ALC, the District of Saanich strives to align with ALC regulations. Therefore, it is important for applicants to familiarize themselves with the ALC Act, ALC Policies and ALR Regulations before making an application.

See a full list of ALC policies and guidelines here.

Policies and guidelines related to common inquiries can be found below: