On August 9, 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) announced that new changes to the current Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation (ALR Regulation) 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 outlined in the following policy entitled Gathering for an Event in the ALR.
On November 25, 2016, following Board direction, a report from staff went to the AAC outlining the recent changes made by the MOA in regards to gathering for an event. In addition to summarizing the recent ALR regulatory changes, the report identified several opportunities in which RDN zoning bylaws could be amended to regulate this newly permitted use. Some potential amendments identified include clearly defining terminology, amending setbacks, limiting size of events, parking provisions and expanding the existing TUP designation. The proposed amendments are intended to create consistency between RDN bylaws and the new ALR Regulation, mitigate impact on neighbouring properties, promote health and safety at these events, preserve agricultural land and promote opportunities for farmers to supplement their on-farm income. At the AAC meeting, a motion was made for the AAC to have the opportunity for further input on the proposed bylaw amendments.
On December 12, 2017, a report along with proposed bylaw amendments to Bylaw 500 and Bylaw 1285 were considered by the Board. Following Board direction, engagement with the farming community and AAC was completed to gather input on possible zoning bylaw amendments and provide direction to help guide staff in considering a balanced regulatory approach to the recently updated ALR Regulation for gathering for an event.