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Property Questions

Can I build a house on my new property?

Please note, if you are leasing a property from NIHO, you may not alter the property in any way, during the lease period, without first receiving written consent from Niho Land & Cattle Company Ltd.

Before building on your property, please check the zoning on your property to make sure what you wish to build is allowed in your zoning.  Make certain your property is not in the ALR or FLR, as these zonings strictly limit what may or may not be built on a property.

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How can I subdivide a property?

Subdividing a property in British Columbia can be a complicated process.

First, what constitutes a subdivision? A subdivision is created when you do any of the following:

– combine two or more properties into one lot

– adjust an existing property line

– create several lots from one or more properties

– create several strata lots from one or more properties

– create several lots with the creation of a road on your property

In British Columbia,

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What is a chain?

When the surveyors originally surveyed parcels of land in BC for the early homesteaders they used a compass and a chain. A chain is a measuring device that used to be made out of metal, now nylon, and is usually about 300 feet long

A chain is also a measurement. One chain equals 66 feet. The surveyor would measure his distances by stretching the chain along the ground measuring 4 chains at a time.

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What is a forest cover map?

A forest cover map represents an 11.2 km x 14.6 km area, and can show you the species, averages ages and heights of  the trees in the area. These maps are made from air photos by interpretation and already have all the typing and interpretation completed from the air photo. This map will interpret exactly what the air photo shows you but the codes on the map are explained and easy to read through a legend at the bottom of the map.

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How were NIHO’s property boundaries set out?

The majority of NIHO’s property boundaries date back to the original surveyors of British Columbia.

In 1874, the Federal Free Homestead Act allowed settlers to buy their homesteads from the crown for about $1.00/acre, if they cleared, fenced, and resided on the land for 3 years. After the homesteader found a parcel of land he wished to homestead he would request a surveyor to come out and formally define his boundaries. The surveyors would then first establish the corner post and then the  boundaries.

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How can I get services to my property?

Many of the properties that Niho offers lies well beyond where traditional services can offer their services, and you should keep this in mind when deciding what type of property you wish to purchase.

If you are looking at living on your property, you will need to consider water, power, sewer, phone, and cable.

Sewer and Municipal Water services are offered through municipal governments, and they usually do not offer services beyond their boundaries.

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What is Crown Land?

Crown land is the property owned by the Province. The majority of land in British Columbia is Crown land. Provincial Crown land includes provincial parks and other protected areas, Crown forest lands and non-forested Crown land. The majority of provincial Crown land, about 59 million hectares, is public forest land.

While Crown land is not available for residential cabins in remote areas, they do from time to time put Crown land on the market.

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What is a subdivision?

A subdivision is a larger parcel of land, usually several acres, which can be subdivided into a number of residential building lots, is also considered a commercial activity, as it is done as a business, the business being the development and subsequent marketing of the land for profit.

There are five types of subdivisions in British Columbia. Fee Simple is a land estate in which the owner is entitled to the entire property.

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What is the ALR?

ALR stands for Agricultural Land Reserve. Created in April 1973, this sets aside the province’s most valuable agricultural lands for farming. 4,709,676 ha, or 5% of BC is designated as being in the ALR.

The following are the land uses permitted in the ALR according to the Agricultural Land Commission Act:

  1. Storage and sale of agricultural products produced on the farm on which the storage or sale is taking place;

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What do you mean by Zoning?

Zoning is defined as the strict guidelines set and enforced by municipal governments regulating how a property may or may not be used. These guidelines do differ from region to region.  You or your realtor will need to check with the municipal government or the regional district to find out which zoning applies to your property.

There are different guidelines that may apply to a property. These can include:

Zoning by-laws

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