Washington International Law Journal


Three major events can be expected to influence land use and tenure in British Columbia, Canada, well into the future. A new Forest Practices Code and harvesting regulations and settlement of aboriginal land claims will profoundly affect B.C.'s rural and wilderness landscape. A third initiative, a growth management strategy act adopted by the B.C. legislature in 1995 will, however, potentially have a major impact on the urban landscape that most British Columbians experience in their daily lives. Its objective is the promotion of human settlements that are socially, economically and environmentally halthy. This paper explores the particular geographic and political characteristics that provide the context for managing development in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, which contains Greater Vancouver and fifty-five percent of the province's population It focuses extensively on the details of the Livable Region Strategy Plan and the companion transportation plan The primary means by which the regional planning authority influences planning actions and decisions of constituent municipalities is by imposing specific expectations on local Official Community Plans. The Article concludes by questioning whether Official Community Plans or the specific criteria imposed are the best ones for realizing the objectives of growth management Provincial agricultural zoning and protected spaces policies and reservations will remain the most effective levers for controlling urban development.

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