Agriculture

Objectives

8-1          Minimize land use conflict between agricultural and non-agricultural uses

8-2          Accommodate suitably located agricultural and agriculturally related commercial and industrial developments

8-3          Promote agricultural innovation, conservation, and value-added industries related to agriculture including agricultural tourism

8-4          Encourage innovative agricultural residential subdivisions in appropriate locations that are sustainable, provide for rural housing and rural convenience commercial needs, and integrate with existing rural development

Policies

General

8.01         Fragmentation of Agricultural Land. Fragmentation of agricultural land for uses other than intensive agricultural operations is discouraged.

8.02         Subdivision of a Quarter Section. Quarter sections designated as Agriculture on the Regional Land Use Map attached to this Plan as Exhibit 2 may be subdivided to permit:

a.   the creation of two equal agricultural holdings subject to compliance with the policies contained herein;

b.   the establishment of up to five (5) discretionary uses per quarter section (64.8 hectares, or 160 acres) or three (3) discretionary uses per 32.4 hectare (80 acre) parcel, subject to Council approval;

c.   the establishment of up to five (5) agricultural residential building sites per quarter section (64.8 hectares, or 160 acres) or three (3) agricultural residential building sites per 32.4 hectare (80 acre) parcel, subject to rezoning to an appropriate district; or

d.   a combination thereof to a maximum of five (5) building sites per quarter section (64.8 hectares, or 160 acres) or three (3) building sites per 32.4 hectare (80 acre) parcel.

8.03         Subdivision for Intensive Agriculture. Intensive agricultural operations may be allowed on parcels less than 32.4 hectares (80 acres) at the discretion of Council if such a parcel can accommodate the proposed use.

8.04         Valued-Added Developments. Multiple related value-added agricultural developments may be considered on a single agricultural parcel at the discretion of the RM subject to these developments meeting all applicable development standards.

8.05         Separation Distances for Intensive Livestock Operations. Intensive livestock operations shall comply with the separation distances in Table 1. The uses listed in Table 1 shall also maintain the following minimum separation distances from intensive livestock operations, except as otherwise indicated by policies of this Plan.

8.06         Separation Distances for Agricultural Residential Dwellings. Notwithstanding Policy 8.05, single family dwellings in agricultural residential subdivisions shall maintain a separation distance from existing intensive livestock operations that is one level of intensity higher than the current number of animal units permitted for the intensive livestock operation as described in Table 1.

8.07         Relaxation of Separation Distances for ILOs. When all landowners are in written agreement, separation distances for ILOs may be relaxed at the discretion of the municipality.

8.08         Location Requirements for Agricultural Commercial and Agricultural Industrial Development. Agriculturally related rural commercial or rural industrial development shall locate on lands in the Agriculture category that:

a.   are in or adjacent to existing or planned commercial or industrial areas;

b.   have access to municipal roads that can support the use; and

c.   are located outside of future urban growth areas.

8.09         Alternate Locations Considered. Notwithstanding Policy 8.08, agriculturally related rural commercial or rural industrial developments may be permitted in alternate locations on lands designated as Agriculture on the Regional Land Use Map attached to this Plan as Exhibit 2 where it can be clearly demonstrated to the satisfaction of the RM that the use has site-specific location requirements that limit its location to an Agriculture area.

Agricultural Residential

8.10         Location Requirements for Agricultural Residential Development. New agricultural residential development shall not be located:

a.   on significant wildlife habitat lands;

b.   in locations where it may cause or contribute to the degradation of ecological and hydrological systems; and

c.   on hazard lands, unless mitigation of the hazard is proven to the satisfaction of the municipality.

8.11         Disruption of Agriculture Minimized. Agricultural residential subdivisions shall be designed and sited to minimize the disruption of agricultural activities on an agricultural holding through buffering, setbacks, and screening. Where applicable, compact designs should be encouraged that do not inhibit cultivation.

8.12         Minimize Fragmentation of Agricultural Lands. Agricultural residential subdivisions shall be encouraged to locate on sites that are appropriate and contiguous to existing building sites to minimize the fragmentation of agricultural lands.

8.13         Site Area Relaxation. Where a proposed subdivision involves a yard site that existed prior to the adoption of the initial RM Official Community Plan (June 30, 1982), the site size may exceed the maximum site area permitted in the P4G Zoning Bylaw to include all essential yard site features, including but not limited to shelterbelts and a dugout.

8.14         Farm Related Secondary Residences. Temporary residences may be permitted on an agricultural holding where associated with an intensive agriculture operation, or as supplementary housing on farmsteads for farm employees whose primary income is earned on that farm.

8.15         Agricultural Residential Development on Fragmented Parcels. Parcels fragmented by a natural or manmade feature, such as a river or highway, may be considered for agricultural residential development subject to rezoning to an appropriate district and the following conditions:

a.   the parcel is located in an area where only two (2) residential building sites per quarter section are allowed;

b.   the parcel, due to its size or its location, is incapable of cultivation or the production of forage crops;

c.   each parcel proposed for residential development contains a minimum of 1 hectare (2.47 acres) of contiguous developable land for a building site and can accommodate on-site sewage disposal and water services;

d.   development does not exceed a total of four (4) residential building sites per quarter section;

e.   the proposed use of the parcel does not negatively impact adjacent agricultural uses; and

f.    the proposed development complies with the general location and access policies contained herein.