On August 9, 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that new changes to the current Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulations had been developed allowing landowners in the ALR with farm class under the Assessment Act to host specific events like weddings, concerts and other non-agriculture related commercial activities if certain conditions as set out in the new regulations were satisfied.
These conditions are:
the farm must be located on land classified as a farm under the Assessment Act
permanent facilities must not be constructed or erected in connection with the event;
parking for those attending the event must be available on the farm, but must not be permanent nor interfere with the farm's agricultural productivity;
no more than 150 people, excluding residents and employees of the farm, may be gathered on the farm at one time for the purpose of attending the event;
the event must be of no more than 24 hours duration;
no more than 10 gatherings for an event of any type may occur on the farm within a single calendar year.
In addition to these conditions, amendments were made 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" to further address gathering for an event.
Amendment Bylaw No. 500.413 and Bylaw No. 1285.29 include setbacks, maximum site area, parking, clearly defining terminology, inclusion of Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) conditions and expanding the existing Temporary Use Permit (TUP) designation to accommodate gatherings for larger events as approved by the ALC. Setbacks, parking and maximum site area are as follows:
30 metre setback for all buildings, structures or events areas for a gathering for an event
1 parking spot per 4 guests must be available on the farm and must be setback 15 metres from all lot lines.
Maximum site area for events shall not exceed 500 square metres