Permitted Uses in the ALR

The ALR is a provincial land-use zone where agriculture is the priority use. The ALR comprises just 5% of BC’s total land base and is the area with the greatest agricultural capacity. As a finite and valuable resource, the province has decided to protect this land.

The Agricultural Land Reserve, Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulations (the "ALR Regulation")identifies farm uses that are permitted outright, as well as other permitted uses and non-farm uses. ALR land owners who wish to pursue other uses or to subdivide their property must make an application under the Agricultural Land Commission Act (the "ALC Act") and secure approval from the ALC.

Agricultural Activities in the ALR

Common farming and ranching activities in the ALR include, but are not limited to:

Raising livestock (cattle, bison, sheep, goats, hogs, horses) Berries
Livestock grazing Tree Fruits
Poultry production (chicken, turkeys, waterfowl) Vegetables (field, greenhouse)
Dairy operations Nuts
Apiculture Grains and oilseeds
Agroforestry Forage crops
Grapes Ornamentals (floriculture, horticultural, nursery crops)
Mushrooms Green housing


Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation

Below is a partial list of permitted activities in the ALR. Land use activities permitted in the ALR Regulation do not require an application or approval of the ALC if the use complies with any conditions or parameters set out in the ALR Regulation. For more detailed information, please refer to the ALR Regulation and the Index of ALC Policies.

Permitted Farm Uses - Section 2(1) of the ALR Regulation

Farm uses are uses in addition to regular farming/ranching as noted above.  These uses are for the most part directly linked to agriculture.  Farm uses can be restricted but not prohibited by local government. Many of the permitted farm uses are subject to conditions, thresholds, or other requirements. Examples of permitted farm uses include:

Wineries & Cideries Farm retail sales
Storage, packing & processing of farm products Temporary or seasonal agri-tourism activities
Timber production, harvesting and silviculture Agroforestry
Equestrian facilities Production of compost with conditions
Application of soil amendments Land development works for farm purposes

Tractor pulling round baler in field - Smithers - Ministry of Agriculture

Permitted Uses - Section 3(1) of the ALR Regulation

Permitted uses are uses that may or may not be linked directly to agriculture and are considered compatible with agriculture and have low impacts on the land base. Permitted uses can be prohibited by local governments. Many of the permitted uses are subject to conditions, thresholds, or other requirements. Examples of permitted uses include:

Home based business Bed & Breakfast
Temporary sawmill subject to conditions Conservation & passive recreation & open land parks
Pet kennels and breeding facilities Education & research (not schools)
Agri-tourism accommodation Aggregate extraction less than 500 m3
Production & development of biological products used in integrated pest management Force mains, trunk sewers, gas and water pipelines within an existing right of way
Production, storage and application of Class A compost Additional dwellings: secondary suite within a dwelling, manufactured home for an immediate family member