Farmland Preservation Verdicts - Rezoning Agricultural Land in British Columbia

T. Stobbe, A.J. Eagle, G. Cotteleer, G.C. van Kooten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in British Columbia (BC), Canada, is a provincial zoning scheme designed to protect agricultural land from development. Since 1973, landowners have not been permitted to use ALR land for nonagricultural purposes, prompting some to seek recovery of development option value by applying for exclusion from the ALR. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and a binary choice (logit) model, this study examines factors that impact the acceptance of ALR exclusion applications. With data from two regions in southwestern BC, we find that applications are more likely to be approved when the land is closer to the major highway, has a smaller parcel size, consists of a smaller portion of the total parcel area, or has poorer quality soils. Therefore, as intended by public policy, agricultural capability is a key determinant in exclusion decisions, retaining properties of greater agricultural value in the ALR. Even though public opinion has suggested otherwise, the political party in power at the time of the decision was only a weak factor, mostly moderated by the number of applications in a given year. A spatial-effects model found no evidence of spatial autocorrelation, supporting the conclusions drawn from the nonspatial model estimations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-572
JournalCanadian Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • values
  • prices
  • conservation
  • rights
  • space

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