Local government planning

Local government planning establishes land use patterns that can last for hundreds of years. Regional growth strategies and official community plans are some of the tools used by municipalities and regional districts when planning their communities.

Local government planning uses tools such as regional growth strategies and official community plans to describe the long-term vision of communities. Local government land use regulations, such as zoning and other bylaws (for example, parking and loading, sign and screening and landscaping bylaws) enable local governments to implement the vision expressed in these plans.

Planning for sustainability and resilience

Local government planning can help build community sustainability and resilience. Local governments can include planning policies in their regional growth strategies and official community plans that support positive economic, social and cultural, and environmental outcomes.

Regional growth strategies

A regional growth strategy is a strategic plan that directs long-term planning for regional district and municipal official community plans. It also provides the basis for decisions about implementation of provincial programs in a regional district. ​

Regional growth strategies are designed to promote human settlements that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and that make efficient use of public facilities, land and other resources to support and enhance regional sustainability and resilience.

Official community plans

Official community plans describe the long-term vision of communities. They are a statement of objectives and policies that guide decisions on municipal and regional district planning and land use management. These decisions impact communities' sustainability and resilience.

Learn more about other topics that local governments may wish to consider when they are developing official community plans.

Community lifecycle infrastructure costing

Community lifecycle infrastructure costing is a process that can help local governments estimate the entire life cycle infrastructure costs for different land use patterns (for example, compact versus lower density development).

Engagement on local planning and land use

Residents and other interested parties play an important role in decisions about how their community will develop by participating in local planning and land use processes and making their views known to their municipal council or regional district board.

Local government advisory planning commissions

Municipal councils and regional district boards may establish advisory planning commissions to get advice on planning and land use matters.