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

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

Revelstoke is a mecca for snowmobiling. (Photo from Revelstoke Snowmobiling Club)
Program aims to reduce search and rescue calls in Revelstoke for snowmobilers

The area has the most calls for the sport in the province

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

Downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke COVID-19 cases tick slowly up to 49

An increase of only three cases since Nov. 30

A snow moon rises over Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack on Feb. 8, 2020. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 is Mountain Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that's ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov | AFP)
WEB POLL: Will you take a vaccine for COVID-19?

Doses are expected to arrive in the new year

Travis Hirlaka, Vernon
PHOTOS: Sunrise paints Okanagan skies

Residents in the Okanagan captured stunning shots of a colourful start to Saturday

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
First Nations Leadership Council demands justice for victims of B.C. social worker

Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls actions of Robert Saunders ‘nothing short of complete depravity’

(City of West Kelowna)
Large housing development in Central Okanagan back on the table

Council considering rezoning to accommodate 184 housing units, project hopes for ~933 by completion

Staff and students at Vernon’s Fulton Secondary School were evacuated due to an electrical short that sent one person to hospital Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Vernon high school evacuated, one person injured by electrical short

Incident at Clarence Fulton Secondary forced brief evacuation Friday afternoon

Two Canadian petitions are asking to have elected officials removed from office. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: Petitions show loss of faith in democratic process

Online petitions from third-party sources have taken aim at elected officials in Canada

Chinook salmon spawning in the Fraser River near Tete Jeune Cache. ((Shane Kalyn photo, property of the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance)
North-Okanagan Shuswap MP petitions government to reform salmon management

Mel Arnold tables petition to allow more angler access to non-threatened Fraser River chinook salmon

Shuswap Cider Company has applied for a licence that would accommodate a cider manufacturing facility, a tasting room and patio/lounge area at Westgate Market in Salmon Arm. (File photo)
Cider manufacturing facilty, tasting room and patio proposed for Salmon Arm

Council asked to raise a virtual glass to a licence for a cidery and amenities in Westgate Mall

Most Read