November 26, 2018 4:24 pm
Updated: November 26, 2018 4:25 pm

Metro Vancouver farmers gear up for fight over ‘monster homes’

WATCH: A group of Metro Vancouver farmers is coming together to fight the B.C. government's plan to limit the size of so-called 'mega-mansions' on farmland with a bill designed to protect the Agricultural Land Reserve. Paul Johnson explains.

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The B.C. Farmland Owners Association held a meeting in Surrey to voice their opposition to a proposed law that would limit the size of homes that can be built on property in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

The NDP government’s Bill 52 would limit the size of homes on ALR land to 5,400 square feet. Opponents of so-called “mega-mansions” on farmland support it, but the farmers gathered Sunday say the government didn’t consult them adequately, and the law doesn’t reflect the realities of how people succeed in farming in B.C. today.

WATCH: B.C. NDP government limits size of monster homes on ALR

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“Every time you create something like a mega-mansion on that land, what it ensures is that new and young farmers will never be able to farm that land,” Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham  said. “It also take away from the capacity, if it’s bigger than that, the capacity of that land base.”

Farmer and realtor Gurdial Bahd said large homes are not about property speculation or rental opportunities but to have enough space for what are often family-owned businesses.

READ MORE: Richmond mega-mansion on designated farmland was illegally operating as high-end hotel

“Farming is not a one-person operation,” he said. “It’s a family operation and a lot of cases a joint family operation. Allow these farming families to build a home that’s suitable to their needs.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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