Planning for Agriculture
Planning for Agriculture is a key component (along with Farm Practices Protection) of the Strengthening Farming Program.
Legislative tools housed in B.C.'s Local Government Act and Land Title Act assist local governments and first nations to encourage a secure and stable working environment for farming and ranching in their communities.
The Planning for Agriculture component focuses on developing strong working relationships between local governments, the farm community and the Province to ensure that agriculture is given appropriate consideration in planning processes. Ministry staff can provide guidance and support through a number of distinct opportunities:
- Agricultural Land Use Inventories (ALUI) and the application of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology increase the understanding of farm systems and land use relationships;
- Agricultural Advisory Committees (AACs) are appointed by a local government;
- Agricultural Area Plans (AAPs) are adopted in key farming communities;
- Edge Planning at the urban and farm interface improves land use compatibility and ensures a secure operating environment for the farm industry;
- Subdivision Approval guidelines ensure greater land use compatibility next to farming;
- Development Permit Areas are designated within Official Community Plans to help protect farming;
- Provincial Farm Bylaw approval found in the Local Government Act Sections 552 and 553 give local governments more regulatory options;
- Trail Design can minimize conflict and improve accessibility next to farm and ranch land; and
- Local government Official Community Plans and Zoning Bylaws are frequently reviewed by Ministry staff to ensure a balanced and positive regulatory climate to encourage the growth of farming and ranching.