RDN to amend bylaws of events gathering on ALR

Board wants commission to give input before making a decision

The Regional District of Nanaimo wants to make its bylaws on event gatherings on Agricultural Land Reserve lands to be consistent with recent amendments to the ALR’s Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulations.

The regulation imposed by the Ministry of Agriculture on Aug. 9, 2016, would allow landowners in the ALR with farm status to host specific events like weddings, concerts and other non-agriculture related commercial activities, provided certain conditions are achieved.

The Board directed staff to undertake a preliminary review of the zoning bylaws, and several opportunities were identified for the RDN to clarify and regulate the newly permitted use.

The current zoning regulations in the regional district do not regulate non-agricultural gathering for an event on ALR land and would become an issue with the new MOA’s use within the ALR.

Staff proposed bylaw amendments to “Regional District of Nanaimo Land Use and Subdivision Amendment Bylaw No. 500, 1987” and “Regional District of Nanaimo Electoral Area ‘F’ Zoning and Subdivision Amendment Bylaw No. 1285, 2002.” They will include setbacks, maximum size, parking, clearly defining terminology, inclusion of Agricultural Land Commission conditions, and expanding the existing temporary-use permit designation to accommodate gatherings for larger events as approved by the ALC.

The goal is to prevent any conflicts on neighbouring properties, promote health and safety at these events, preserve agricultural land and provide opportunities for farmers to subsidize their farm income.

The board, before making a decision on the proposed bylaw amendments, directed staff to refer the matter to the the Agricultural Advisory Committee and to the farming community for feedback.

Staff was also asked to develop an information brochure for “Gathering for an Event in the Agricultural Land Reserve.”

Send story tips to: michael.briones@pqbnews.com

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