Gathering for an Event in the Agricultural Land Reserve
Gathering for an EventRecent changes made by the Ministry of Agriculture have authorized a limited number of secondary on-farm commercial activities (weddings, concerts and other non-agricultural related commercial activities) to take place on properties in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Gathering for an event is now considered a permitted non-farm use in the ALR as long as the event meets the conditions set out in the ALR Regulations.
Different Types of Gathering for an EventGathering for an event means a gathering of people on a farm for the purpose of attending
- a wedding, unless paragraph c. ii. applies,
- a music festival, or
- an event, other than
- an event held for the purpose of agri-tourism, or
- the celebration, by residents of the farm and those persons whom they invite, of a family event for which no fee or other charge is payable in connection
ALR RegulationsGathering for an event is permitted if the following conditions are met:
- 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.
Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN)Zoning Regulations
Permitted Zones: Gathering for an Event is a permitted accessory use within the A1 and A2 Zones of Bylaw 500 and the A1 Zone of Bylaw 1285.
Setbacks: All buildings, structures or event area must be setback 30.0 metres from all lot lines.
Maximum Size of Event: Maximum site area for events shall not exceed 500 m2.
Minimum Parking Requirements: One spot per four guests must be available on the farm, but must not be permanent nor interfere with the farm’s agricultural productivity and must be setback 15.0 metres from all lot lines.
Other Considerations If you are planning to host a gathering for an event, consideration should be given to the following: Neighbouring property owners and livestock, drinkable water supply, washroom facilities, fire prevention, noise restrictions, security and liquor licence.
Further InformationPeople hosting events must make every effort to avoid negative impacts to the use of agricultural land.
Permanent facilities include, but are not limited to: buildings or permanent structures, hard surface parking areas, concrete pads, structural foundations, retaining walls, permanent tents (erected for more than 90 days) and permanent alteration to the landscape (fill, gravel, berms, hills, dugouts, amphitheatres).
Personal family celebrations hosted by the farm owner where no fee is charged continue to be allowed.
It is the responsibility of any person holding an event to seek out and comply with all other applicable legislation including, but not limited to the BC Fire Code, BC Building Code, Noise Bylaws, Public Health Act and Transportation Act.
Agency Contact Information
Island Health Authority: 250-370-8699
Nanaimo Fire Department: 250-753-7311
For more information about the RDN and Gathering for an Event in the ALR visit:
Email any questions to: planning [at] rdn.bc.ca