The Globe and Mail
The B.C. government will consider proposals to impose higher property taxes on investors who buy agricultural land then reap huge tax benefits intended for farmers, not wealthy speculators. …
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie raised concerns about the issue in letters to the provincial Agricultural Land Commission, which oversees the ALR, and to B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick this summer.
“In recent years, council has become concerned about a disturbing trend – that house sizes in the ALR have been increasing to the point where they are becoming too large and do not support agriculture viability,” Mr. Brodie wrote.
He said that, in 2010, the average size of new houses being built on land in the ALR was 7,300 square feet, but many now are 24,000 sq. ft., and Richmond recently denied a building permit to one that was proposed at 41,000 sq. ft.
“These types of mega houses/buildings were never envisioned in the ALR, as they do not support agricultural viability and detract from achieving it,” said Mr. Brodie, who asked for provincial regulations to limit the maximum house size and house location on land in the ALR. …
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