Local government resources

The Riparian Areas Protection Regulation (RAPR) is enabled by section 12 of the Riparian Areas Protection Act

Applicable local governments must include in their zoning and land use bylaws riparian area protection provisions in accordance with the directive, or provide protections that meet or exceed the directive.

New RAR Guidebook for local governments

The 2006 RAR Implementation Guidebook has been revised and edited with new resources replacing the former document. A specific Guidebook has been prepared for local governments, including updated information.

RAR Guidebook for local governments (2016) (PDF, 648KB)  

Local government RAR implementation and compliance review 

In response to the B.C. Ombudsperson’s 2014 report; Striking a Balance: The Challenges of Using a Professional Reliance Model in Environmental Protection - British Columbia's Riparian Areas Regulation, the ministry has conducted a comprehensive review of Local Government implementation of the RAR. The release of this report represents the full implementation of the Ombudsperson’s recommendation #1, specifically to “Review local government implementation of and compliance with the Riparian Areas Regulation, and report publicly on the results of that review”. The results of this review are important information for the public, local governments and the ministry. This information will be used to inform the ministry’s commitment to work with local governments to bring them into compliance with the RAR. The ministry will directly support local governments in responding to the results of this review.

Read more about:

Geographical areas implementing riparian protection

The Riparian Areas Regulation applies only to local governments on the east side of Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the Southern Interior, as these are the parts of the province that are experiencing the most rapid urban growth. This includes the following regional districts and all the municipalities within them:

  • Capital (except the City of Victoria and Township of Esquimalt)
  • Central Okanagan
  • Columbia-Shuswap
  • Comox Valley
  • Strathcona
  • Cowichan Valley
  • Fraser Valley
  • Greater Vancouver (except the City of Vancouver)
  • Nanaimo
  • North Okanagan
  • Okanagan-Similkameen
  • qathet
  • Squamish-Lillooet
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Thompson-Nicola
  • Trust area under the Islands Trust Act

Learn more about where the Regulations apply:

Legal opinion

A legal opinion was jointly commissioned by the Ministry and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) to address Resolution B75 passed at the 2004 UBCM annual convention. The resolution requested a legal review of local government liability from the Riparian Areas Regulation.

The B.C. Government has worked with the UBCM to generate the following strategy to address the conclusions and recommendations made in the legal opinion by the law firm Staples McDannold Stewart (SMS):