Council started the Agribusiness and Agritourism Review to look at how it can best support and grow local agribusiness and agritourism in the County.
Council passed the diversified agriculture bylaw on Nov. 15. This means the County’s Land Use Bylaw now has clear rules guiding the development of land and buildings for agribusiness and agritourism operations.
The bylaw is based on the recommendations of the Agribusiness and Agritourism Review Task Force, a community task force that includes members of the public with experience and expertise in agribusiness and agritourism, in addition to public input shared at two public hearings and regulatory best practices.
Agribusiness and Agritourism Operations
Agricultural producers and other landowners can expand and diversify their revenue sources through agribusiness and agritourism activities.
Sturgeon County’s Land Use Bylaw outlines the rules for developing land and buildings for agribusiness and agritourism operations.
Property owners can apply to operate a diversified agriculture operation on agricultural land. They can also apply to host experiences and events related to farming or farm life, such as farm-to-table dinners or corn mazes.
To operate a more intensive agricultural operation or event venue, landowners must first apply to have their land redistricted to a new land use (AG2) that supports more intensive agricultural uses. This application requires Council approval.
March 9, 2021: Sturgeon County Council initiated the Agribusiness and Agritourism Review and passed the Agribusiness and Agritourism Review Task Force Bylaw (Bylaw 1538/21). This bylaw created a task force, which includes seven community members and Council representatives.
May 11, 2021: community members were selected by Council after an application and interview process. The task force members were selected because of their expertise and experience in the agribusiness and agritourism sectors within Sturgeon County.
June 2021 April 2022: the task force worked with independent consultants to conduct the Agribusiness and Agritourism Review.
April 12, 2022: Council accepted the Agribusiness and Agritourism Review Task Force Final Recommendations Report as information. Council instructed administration to bring forward amendments to the County’s Land Use Bylaw that reflect the task force’s recommendations.
May 3, 2022: Council gave first reading of Bylaw 1597/22.
Sept. 13, 2022: Council gave second reading on the amended Bylaw 1597/22.
Nov. 15, 2022: Council gave third and final reading of Bylaw 1597/22.