Gathering for an Event in the Agricultural Land Reserve

Gathering for an Event in the Agricultural Land Reserve

Gathering for an Event

Recent 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 Event

Gathering for an event means a gathering of people on a farm for the purpose of attending
  1. a wedding, unless paragraph c. ii. applies,
  2. a music festival, or
  3. an event, other than
    1. an event held for the purpose of agri-tourism, or
    2. 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 Regulations

Gathering for an event is permitted if the following conditions are met:
  1. the farm must be located on land classified as a farm under the Assessment Act;
  2. permanent facilities must not be constructed or erected in connection with the event;
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. the event must be of no more than 24 hours duration;
  6. no more than 10 gatherings for an event of any type may occur on the farm within a single calendar year.
“A maximum of 10 events of any type are permitted within a calendar year on a farm. For example, 5 weddings, 2 music concerts and 3 art shows. Events may include weddings, private parties, corporate retreats, music concerts and concert series, music festivals, film and theatrical presentations, art shows, dance recitals, charitable and political fundraising events, dances, and sports events, so long as otherwise compliant with the ALR Regulation."

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 Information

People 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
MOTI: 250-751-3246
RCMP—Oceanside: 250-248-6111
RCMP—Nanaimo: 250-754-2345
ALC: 1-800-663-7867

For more information about the RDN and Gathering for an Event in the ALR visit:

www.rdn.bc.ca/electoral-area-planning-projects or
getinvolved.rdn.ca/ALR
Email any questions to: planning@rdn.bc.ca