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Here's what it costs to own a hobby farm along this Port Coquitlam road

A five-acre property listed on Prairie Avenue features a large home and two barns.
A five-acre hobby farm is for sale for $2.9M in Port Coquitlam.

Port Coquitlam real estate has everything from one-bedroom condos to single-family homes on large lots with pools.

However, it has a history of farming with about 568 acres of agricultural land mostly in the northeast.

Every now and then, a property comes up for sale that caters to the dreams of someone wishing to start a hobby farm.

About a month ago, just such a property was listed at 412 Prairie Ave., close to the Pitt River dike.

This long narrow strip of property is five acres in size and is listed for sale for $2,9 million.

According to the property listing by Pav Rakhra of Keller Williams Elite Realty, the property has been owned by one owner for the last 50 years.

It has a 3,700 sq-ft. house and two barns, however, the property has "never been farmed," the listing reads.

"If you ever wanted to have a large piece of land and still be walking distance to the city this is your chance."

Built in 1976, the home features six bedrooms and two bathrooms; It has an open concept, two kitchens, storage and a 473 sq-ft. solarium.

"Perfect for extended/multi-generational families, or build your dream home."

The current assessed value (July 2021) is $2.4 million, according to BC Assessment.

New assessments will be out for B.C. properties on Jan. 3, but the assessment authority has issued a warning that property assessments sent to residents — and 2022 assessments posted online — might be higher than the current market.

Taxes for 2022 are $7,044, the listing states.

Is farming in PoCo realistic?

A major complaint of local farmers is that the soil is poor and too soggy for farming; as well, PoCo farms are typically small — between five and seven acres — which limits agricultural opportunities.

Those who do farm tend to grow blueberries and hay, or they keep poultry, and a few cattle to maintain their agricultural status.

The result is very little food farming is being done in PoCo, and a Metro Vancouver survey in 2016 found just 23 per cent of the city’s farmland, and 33 per cent in Coquitlam, is in production.

No monster homes on ALR land

Concerned about monster homes being built on agricultural land, Port Coquitlam passed a bylaw in 2016 that restricts homes to 5,300 sq. ft.

As well, the city has also placed restrictions on homes being built on the flood plain, to prevent basement suites that could be wiped out by flooding.

Still, for those who want a taste of rural life within a short drive of shopping and schools, this home is a good location.

Prairie Avenue is a road in transition, with townhouses being proposed on single family lots, albeit closer to Coast Meridian Road, and in areas where the city wants more density.

For example, the City of Port Coquitlam is being asked to approve townhouses on single family lots at 1727 Prairie Ave. and at 1759, 1771, 1775 and 1781 Prairie Ave.

What's more, the city is upgrading Prairie Avenue to make it safer and more pedestrian and bike friendly.