Local government land use regulation

Local government land use is regulated by zoning and other bylaws (run-off control, flood plain bylaws, parking and loading, regulation of signs, and screening and landscaping) and agreements (phased development agreements and housing agreements).

Local government land use regulations, including zoning and other bylaws (e.g. parking and loading, sign and screening and landscaping bylaws) enable local governments to implement the long-term vision described in their regional growth strategies, official community plans or other planning tools.

Development permit areas

Development permit areas can identify locations that need special treatment for certain purposes, including the protection of development from hazards, establishing objectives for form and character, and establishing objectives to promote energy conservation.

Development permits are a tool to help local governments reduce greenhouse gases (for example, climate change mitigation) and to address the impacts of a changing climate (for example, climate change adaptation).

Zoning bylaws

Zoning implements municipal and regional district land use planning visions expressed in official community plans and regional growth strategies, and may support community sustainability and resilience goals. Zoning bylaws regulate how land, buildings and other structures may be used.

Land use bylaws other than zoning

Municipalities and regional districts may adopt land use bylaws to address matters such as runoff control, development in a flood plain, parking and loading, regulation of signs, and screening and landscaping.

Land use agreements between local governments and landowners

Local governments and landowners may enter into phased development agreements and housing agreements. In the past, local governments had the authority to enter into land use contracts however this authority was repealed and all of the existing contracts will be terminating on June 30, 2024 (or earlier).

Subdividing land

Landowners and developers must make an application to the appropriate approving authority (e.g. municipality or Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure District Office) to subdivide their land.

Subdivision servicing bylaws

Regional districts and municipalities may establish a subdivision servicing bylaw that regulates and sets out the requirements for the provision of works and services that are needed as part of the subdivision of land.

Islands trust planning and land use management

Each Islands Trust local trust committee has most of the same planning and land use management power and authority as a regional district board.