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

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

Just Posted

Why we relay: Crossing the finish line

Michelle Bryant-Gravelle, fourth generation breast cancer survivor, wants it to end with her

Eagle eyes are needed to find new club space

Archery club in P.R. aims for storage space as well as shooting range

Prince Rupert wolf attack on man reported on social media is unsubstantiated, said COS

Investigation found no evidence of wolf attack on Moresby Trail

Necropsy for Port Edward wolf is inconclusive

Samples sent for forensic analysis; wolf sightings continue; bushes removed at attack site

Seafest parade sails on June 27

Tides are turning during COVID-19 for Prince Rupert parade

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read