Farming in Central Saanich

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Supporting farm worker accommodations

Farmers in the District have expressed a need to provide their employees with safe, affordable accommodations close to their farming operations. The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) needs to approve farm worker accommodations on agricultural (ALR) lands however, to support our farming community, we are developing guidelines for temporary accommodations so farmers have a clear path to follow as they prepare a Temporary Use Permit application.

What do you think? You can review the guidelines and provide feedback by completing the two page survey which starts below.


Recent changes to the ALR Regulations

The province adopted bylaw amendments affecting ALR land, which came into force on February 22, 2019. Specifically, there are new regulations relating to permitted residential uses as well as about soil and fill on agricultural properties. Details on these changes can be found on the Agricultural Land Commission website.


Thank you to those who attended the open house!

The feedback received at the open house will help staff shape the guidelines for the Temporary Farm Worker Accommodations. The survey is still open below if you didn't make the open house!

Supporting farm worker accommodations

Farmers in the District have expressed a need to provide their employees with safe, affordable accommodations close to their farming operations. The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) needs to approve farm worker accommodations on agricultural (ALR) lands however, to support our farming community, we are developing guidelines for temporary accommodations so farmers have a clear path to follow as they prepare a Temporary Use Permit application.

What do you think? You can review the guidelines and provide feedback by completing the two page survey which starts below.


Recent changes to the ALR Regulations

The province adopted bylaw amendments affecting ALR land, which came into force on February 22, 2019. Specifically, there are new regulations relating to permitted residential uses as well as about soil and fill on agricultural properties. Details on these changes can be found on the Agricultural Land Commission website.


Thank you to those who attended the open house!

The feedback received at the open house will help staff shape the guidelines for the Temporary Farm Worker Accommodations. The survey is still open below if you didn't make the open house!

  • Farm Worker Accommodation - Update June 2020

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    about 1 month ago

    The draft amendment bylaws were reviewed by the ALC and the following changes were made to the OCP amendment bylaw:

    • The minimum lot size was increased to 4 hectares and for smaller farms, the need for farm worker accommodation as well as an overall net benefit to farming would need to be demonstrated.
    • A condition was included that the landowner's role in the farming operation must be described in the application.
    • The guideline with respect to removal or decommissioning was amended by requiring removal of the accommodation in the case of a manufactured or other temporary home, and decommissioning in the case of a more permanent structure.

    The ALC indicated that the OCP bylaw as amended is acceptable.

    Both amendment bylaws were considered by Council on February 24, 2020 and both bylaws were given first and second readings. A public hearing on the bylaws is scheduled for June 15, 2020.

    The draft amendment bylaws were reviewed by the ALC and the following changes were made to the OCP amendment bylaw:

    • The minimum lot size was increased to 4 hectares and for smaller farms, the need for farm worker accommodation as well as an overall net benefit to farming would need to be demonstrated.
    • A condition was included that the landowner's role in the farming operation must be described in the application.
    • The guideline with respect to removal or decommissioning was amended by requiring removal of the accommodation in the case of a manufactured or other temporary home, and decommissioning in the case of a more permanent structure.

    The ALC indicated that the OCP bylaw as amended is acceptable.

    Both amendment bylaws were considered by Council on February 24, 2020 and both bylaws were given first and second readings. A public hearing on the bylaws is scheduled for June 15, 2020.

  • Farm Worker Accommodations - Update

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    7 months ago

    Earlier this year we reached out to local farmers and the greater community as we began drafting farm worker accommodation guidelines. With community feedback in hand, the guidelines were adjusted by decreasing the minimum lot size and removing setback requirements. We also included that the accommodation should be installed on a temporary foundation with no basement.

    We also sought comments from the Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission, Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) staff and Ministry of Agriculture staff.

    Based on the results of public consultation, the referral responses and best practices, two amendment bylaws have been drafted for Council consideration. Key...

    Earlier this year we reached out to local farmers and the greater community as we began drafting farm worker accommodation guidelines. With community feedback in hand, the guidelines were adjusted by decreasing the minimum lot size and removing setback requirements. We also included that the accommodation should be installed on a temporary foundation with no basement.

    We also sought comments from the Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission, Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) staff and Ministry of Agriculture staff.

    Based on the results of public consultation, the referral responses and best practices, two amendment bylaws have been drafted for Council consideration. Key highlights of the draft guidelines include the following:


    • All areas designated as Rural and Agricultural on the OCP Land Use Plan are designated as Temporary Use Permit Areas
    • The property must be classified as a farm and be a minimum of 2 hectares
    • The accommodation shall be installed on a temporary foundation with no basement
    • The accommodation may be used to house farm workers from other farms subject to a written agreement and the other farms meeting the guidelines
    • If not used for two consecutive years, the accommodation shall be removed or decommissioned

    These draft amendment bylaws will now be sent to the ALC and, if approved, the amendment bylaws will be brought back to Council for consideration of bylaw readings and a public hearing.

    For further information and the results of the public consultation, please see the staff report.