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

Editorial: Go out and play

How much is too much screen time?

CIBC to close its branch in Fraser Lake next year

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is closing its Fraser Lake… Continue reading

Couple selling fake jewelry in Fraser Lake, say RCMP

A man and woman have been defrauding local residents, offering fake jewelry for sale

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Tommy Chong says Canada took wrong approach to pot legalization

He also talked about the likelihood of another Cheech and Chong film

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

‘Both things are true:’ Science, Indigenous wisdom seek common ground

Reconciliation between Canada and First Nations is playing out not only in legislatures and courtrooms but in labs across the country

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Lower-than-expected parcel volumes helping cut into backlog, says Canada Post

The Crown corporation says that’s largely because it is taking in fewer holiday parcels than expected

Trapped B.C. crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

Most Read