Hobby Farms and Protection of Farmland in British Columbia
Agricultural land protection near the urban-rural fringe is a goal of many jurisdictions, and none more so than British Columbia, Canada, which uses a provincial-wide zoning scheme to prevent subdivisions and non-agricultural uses of the land. A preferential tax regulation scheme for farmers is also in place, as in many jurisdictions. Small scale hobby farmers are present at the urban fringe near Victoria (the capital) both on land inside and outside of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The goal of this paper is to investigate whether or not the establishment of hobby farms creates problems for agricultural land preservation. We make use of a GIS (geographic information system) to construct detailed spatial variables and we employ two models to analyse our parcel-level data set: an hedonic pricing model and a limited dependent variable model. The conclusions drawn from the results in this paper would likely apply to other jurisdictions which seek to protect agricultural land in the urban fringe.
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