Improvement districts & other governance bodies

In some areas, specific local authorities can provide local services and administration. These are not local governments, and either predate the regional district system or exist for a specific purpose.

Examples include improvement districts, the Islands Trust, University Endowment Lands, special purpose boards and the unincorporated Stikine region.

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Improvement districts

Improvement districts are local authorities that provide specific services to landowners who have requested and pay for those services. Improvement districts vary in size from small subdivisions to larger communities and are generally located in rural areas of B.C.

Improvement districts do not have the general governance or land use planning functions that municipalities and regional districts have.

Learn more about improvement districts including guidelines, administration, finance and dissolution:

Stikine region

Located in northwestern B.C., the Stikine region is the only area of the province that is not part of a regional district or municipality. Within the region, the Atlin Community Improvement District is the only local authority and provides basic services including drainage, fire protection, sidewalks, solid waste disposal, street lighting and waterworks to the residents of Atlin. Beyond that, the area is part of the province’s responsibilities. Learn more about:

Special purpose boards

Special purpose boards are created and empowered through provincial legislation to govern specific interests in designated area. Examples include the Cultus Lake Park Board, the Greater Vancouver Water District Board and the Vancouver Park Board.

Islands trust

The Islands Trust is a federated body responsible for protecting the unique nature and amenities of 13 major islands and more than 450 smaller islands and the surrounding waters in the southern Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound. It regulates local land use, manages a trust fund of land and other assets and works with other levels of government.

As a federation of islands, the Islands Trust also works with First Nations, municipalities, regional districts, improvement districts and provincial and federal agencies, as well as other organizations, in carrying out its legislative mandate.

University endowment lands

The University Endowment Lands (UEL) is an unincorporated community located between the City of Vancouver and the University of British Columbia on the Point Grey Peninsula. It is the only part of British Columbia where the B.C. government provides local services directly to an urban area.