Ministry of Agriculture

Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas



Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas

Updated 2013

The Guide for Bylaw Developlment in Farming Areas offers standards for developing and amending bylaws affecting farming areas. Part 1 explains the purpose of the guide and how it is organized. Part 2 describes Minister’ Bylaw Standards, how they were developed and how they are intended to be used. Part 3 explains Farm Bylaws and what is means to be a “Regulated Local Government”. Part 4 contains definitions of terms used in the Guide.

Note that the document is about 70 pages and 2.5 MB.


Minister's Bylaw Standards

Section 916 of the Local Government Act provides authority to the Minister of Agriculture to establish agricultural standards for the guidance of local government in the preparation of various bylaws affecting agriculture. Ministry staff have developed a number of these standards over the years, which Local Governments are encouraged to adopt and can be found in the Guide. They include:

  • Zoning designations, permitted uses, and minimum lot size designations;
  • Lot coverage, setbacks, off-street loading and parking, and height limitations
  • Edge Planning along ALR urban boundaries
  • Riparian setbacks (including agricultural buildings)
  • Temporary Farm Worker Housing
  • Residential uses in the ALR (Size and Siting)
  • Combined heat and power generation at greenhouses in the ALR (Co-generation)


Farm Bylaws, Farm Bylaw Standards and 'regulated' communities

Sections 917 and 918 of the Local Government Act provide for the application of the Right to Farm Regulation which provides local governments with access to Farm Bylaw powers that enables greater regulation of farming subject to Minister of Agriculture approval.  Minister’s Farm Bylaw Standards include:

  • Audible Bird Scare Devices in BC
  • Edge planning (farm-side)
  • Mushroom Farms and on-farm composting

There are four communities currently ‘regulated’ under Section 918. These include the Township of Langley, the City of Abbotsford, the Corporation of Delta and the City of Kelowna.

The general information on agricultural found in the previous version of the guide can be found in the Ministry’s BC Farm Practice Reference Guide.