Richmond council hears from public on farmhouse size

A public hearing into how big houses can be in ALR land, as well as other items, being held on Monday

How big should homes be on farmland? Richmond residents are invited to give their opinion on council’s proposal to cap them at 400 square metres (4,305 square feet) at Monday evening’s public hearing.

Originally set to be reduced from previous limits of 10,764 square feet to 5,382 square feet, council voted on Nov. 13 to amend the size of housing in Richmond’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) even further, to 4,305 square feet.

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One recently built house in the ALR in Richmond has exceeded 17,000 square feet. Other restrictions include limiting the “farm home plate” – all dwellings, accessory buildings, non-farm-use artificial ponds, landscaping and the septic system – to 1,000 square metres (10,763 square feet) and restricting the height of the home to nine metres (29.5 feet) and two storeys. (For a map that shows some homes in the Sidaway/No. 6 Road area, their construction year and square footage, click here.)

Council’s pursuit of this bylaw coincidentally came on the heels of a provincial announcement with its own legislation limiting ALR home sizes to 500 square metres. 

A public hearing on the Richmond Centre development will continue on Monday evening. This is to develop high rises with 150 affordable housing units and retail stores. It also includes new streets and a two-level parkade.

Other public hearing items on Monday include a 24-townhouse development at Bridgeport and Shell roads – three single-family lots have been consolidated to make way the project – as well as a rezoning of two light-industrial lots of in Steveston at Dyke Road to a mixed-use development with commercial/industrial at ground level and 12 residentials units above a parkade. The latter project is from Oris Development. (For public hearing documents, click here.)

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