Cathy Ficther, her daughter Alanah Fuduric, and Charlie, five months old. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Minister pledges better ALC rules after B.C. family’s housing plans spoiled

The three-generation Langley family has been in limbo over placing a modular home for grandparents

A Langley family who found themselves in a bind over changed housing rules on agricultural land may get a reprieve from the provincial minister of agriculture.

“There will be more details to come in the next few weeks, but we expect soon to allow a grandfathering period for manufactured homes for immediate family members in order to better balance the protection of the ALR with the diverse needs of the people who call it home,” said Minister Lana Popham.

Cathy and Brian Fichter had hoped to share a five-acre farm with their daughter Alanah Fuduric, her husband Ryan, and the couple’s six children.

Cathy and Brian’s plan to place a modular home on the property was foiled by a change to rules over homes and housing in the Agricultural Land Reserve, leaving all 10 members of the family sharing a single house.

The Fichters had already bought their modular home, arranged for the permits to move it to the site, set up for the installation of septic, and followed what they thought were all the regulations. But they missed the Feb. 22 deadline under changes introduced by Bill 52, by four days.

Neither the Fichters nor their family, nor local officials were aware of the looming changes.

In the past, local governments had issued permits for secondary homes for farmland. Now the Fichters are waiting to hear from the ALC for an exemption, but have already waited more than the 60 business days they were told a decision would take.

“Storage for our possessions has been the biggest cost,” Cathy said. “Emotional toll is much worse.”

The family hasn’t even tried to work the cost of re-doing permits if they do get permission, she said.

READ MORE: Langley family in limbo as ALR rule changes mean no second home for grandparents

“I am committed to helping B.C. farmers farm, to support good jobs for people, and help producers continue to grow the food that British Columbians count on,” Popham said in a statement released on the housing issue.

“Right now, people who live in the ALR and want to build additional homes on farmland to support their farming operations can do so with permission from their local government and the Agricultural Land Commission,” Popham said. “As we’ve continued to work on regulations to support Bill 52, we’ve been listening to local governments and people living in the Agricultural Land Reserve.”

The Fichter and Fuduric family are still waiting to hear directly from the ALC or government.

“We are trying to take this optimistically,” Cathy told the Advance Times.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Footwork and fundamentals: minor basketball classes return to Prince Rupert

The next generation of basketball talent is getting started on the game’s keys to success

Uncertain future for KAPS location and rent as McKay housing gets redeveloped

Affordable housing units in Prince Rupert to be revitalized by BC Housing

New museum exhibit in Prince Rupert to highlight nature’s influence on technology

Travelling exhibit made possible through federal funding via Museums Assistance Program

Rampage ready for new CIHL season

Puck drops Saturday at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

STORY, PHOTOS & VIDEO: Brand new wrestling mats on display at Charles Hays

Team no longer has to grapple with hard surfacing and soreness thanks to generous donations

VIDEO: What does PRMS want? Climate action. When do they want it? Now.

Kids in Prince Rupert march to city hall in support of Fridays for Future, a global climate protest

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Canada continues to win at world indoor lacrosse championships in B.C.

Results of the action from day two of the 2019 World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor World Championship

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

Most Read