LETTER: Langley and other communities hit hard by ALR changes

The changes won’t stop mega mansions but will hurt many landowners, a local man argues.

Dear Editor,

NPD government’s Bill 52 – Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act, may have caused hundreds of renters of mobile homes in Langley and other areas of the Lower Mainland to face evictions notices this year. Along with losses in the millions of dollars to homeowners who had applied for their building permits well before the new law passed.

Currently in Langley and other cities and townships there are bylaws that allow for temporary mobile home’s for farm workers on ALR. For decade farmers have rented these mobile homes to non-farm workers as a source of income. The new law that was put in place on Feb. 22 states that a second dwelling including a mobile home is not allowed on ALR Land. Every year the homeowners must renew their mobile home permit.

What is going to happen this year when they try to renew? City officials do not have any answers. They refuse to issue new building permits on properties with the mobile home until it is removed.

Homeowners wishing to build a new house that is not in accordance with the new law have had their permits now rejected because of the clause that essentially states that the new project must be already under construction. These homeowners are essentially losing all the fees to have had the project designed and engineered as well of the cost of preparing their properties for construction. It was left to city planning departments and how quickly they could issue permits before the new law passed. One owner missed out on getting their permit by two days because the plan reviewer in charge of their file was on vacation. Some owners have spent hundreds of thousands pre-loading their properties for several years, which has essentially already destroyed the farmland. Some have even had to construct bridges across rivers to get to their build-able area. All of this pre-construction was approved by the cities. They and all of it is now for nothing. A class action lawsuit is pending.

There are also major issue’s with the new law when if comes to the size of the homes. It puts a cap of 5,400 sq. ft. for the main, upper and garage areas. But there are no caps on exterior covered spaces, double height ceilings, accessory buildings or barns. Years ago Surrey had a similar bylaw without these caps and home owners would circumvent the law by building massive double heights ceilings, exterior covered spaces and then just fill them in later illegally.

There is no way to enforce the illegal conversion of these areas as cities rely on aerial photos of buildings and are only sent to investigate if neighbours complain. The mega mansion will continue as there as so many was for homeowners to circumvent the laws.

Everyone that has been affected by this law are all in agreement. It has been introduced and implemented horribly, and the NDP never consulted with the farmers and cities that it would effect.

Christophe Vaissade, Langley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rideshare expands into eastern Langley

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

LETTER: Langley man wants to see bank machine cleaned

The ATM is a high-touch spot that should be cleaned frequently, a local man argues

Langley Eats Local challenge promotes homegrown foods and products this summer for 11th year

Residents encouraged to participate in farm gate passport program in a bid to buy local

Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley is asking participants to sip, support, and survive

Registration for reality-show inspired virtual fundraiser, happening July 20 to 31, is open now

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Surrey officer-impersonation scam continues ‘almost daily’

Police reiterate warning that demands for Bitcoin in exchange for waived charges are fraudulent

Most Read