Land Use - Local Government

Local governments play a vital function in managing private land use and development in British Columbia, and have authority over land use by third parties on Crown Lands.

The primary forms of local government with land use management responsibilities are municipalities in urban settlement areas, and regional districts in rural, unincorporated areas.

The authority of local governments to govern matters within their boundaries is established by the Province.  Local governments are recognised as independent, autonomous and accountable orders of government. This recognition is granted under the Community Charter for municipalities and under the Local Government Act for regional districts.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing is responsible for the local government system as a whole, including key legislation (such as the Local Government Act and the Community Charter). The Ministry provides a legislative framework for local governments and assists in problem solving through advice, guidance and grant funding for specific purposes.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is generally responsible for subdivision legislation under the Land Title Act, and is also largely responsible for the administration of Crown Land under the Land Act as well as the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing Act.

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