Why try and re-invent the wheel? Maybe Richmond should just adopt Delta's bylaw to stop mansions taking over valuable farmland.
Back in 2006, Delta made changes to prevent speculators and would-be mansion owners from purchasing farmland as a cheap place to build huge homes, limiting house sizes and defining 'home plate' on agricultural properties.
The maximum farm house floor area for properties less than 8 hectares (20 acres) is 3,552 square feet and for properties 8 hectares or greater it's 5,005 square feet. The maximum area for an additional farmhouse is 1,937 square feet on a lot of less then 8 hectares, while it's 2,507 square feet on a lot of 8 hectares or greater.
Delta has also taken a number of other measures over the years to protect farmland, including maintaining its policy to generally not permit lot splitting because smaller parcels are viewed as less valuable.
In 2010 Richmond attempted to restrict house sizes in the ALR but council backed away after opposition from land owners and developers. Since then the average house size in the ALR reached a staggering 12,583 square feet in 2015, and much larger since.
Last year Richmond gave it another go, but didn't go along with the Ministry of Agriculture's recommended guideline for a maximum house of a little over 5,000 square feet, instead allowing homes twice that size, which certainly is not going to prompt developers and speculators to walk away.
Are mega mansions on Richmond's farmlands a sign of progress, or just giving in to big money developers. Your thoughts?