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Building a House in the Agricultural Land Reserve

The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR)  is a provincial zone in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-farm uses, such as residential dwellings, are restricted.

Find out if your land is on ALR land by using COSMOS or by checking the Agricultural Land Commission's website.

Residential building permissions on ALR land

One single family dwelling is permitted on a parcel of land in the ALR. One secondary suite for residential purposes, wholly contained within the single family dwelling may also be permitted in the City of Surrey.

Any additional permanent dwelling (such as second single family dwelling) proposed for an immediate family member, or someone who is not a farm worker necessary for the farm/ranch operation, is not a permitted use in the ALR.

An additional permanent dwelling (single family) or a second manufactured home for farm/ranch worker accommodation may only be permitted in the ALR if it is necessary for farm use (farm help). ALC Policy #9 further explains ALC Act requirements for additional residences for farm help accommodation in the ALR.  The city of Surrey Zoning bylaw does not currently allow a for a second single family residence in the general Agricutlure Zone(s).

Applying for an additional farm worker residence

In order apply to construct an additional permanent residence (second single family dwelling) proposed for farm workers you must apply to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for approval under Section 20 (3) of the ALCA and the City of Surrey to rezone the property. The permission for non-farm use will be considered by the ALC only if your application is referred to the ALC from Surrey City Council.

If the application is referred by the City and the ALC grants you approval, a rezoning to allow for an accessory farm woker dwelling would then be considerd by Surrey City Council, based on the merit of the application.

For information on applying for an additional farm worker residence in the ALR, review the guidance on Additional Dwellings in the Agricultural Land Reserve bulletin.

If you have any questions regarding residential dwellings on the ALR in Surrey, contact the Planning and Development Department at City Hall at 604-591-4441 or

You can also reach out to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) in Burnaby at 604-660-7000 or