UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rural land use control : an alternative to the standard zoning by-law Anderson, Thomas Robert


This analysis is based on a situation which has evolved in Electoral Area "G" within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen located in the south central sector of the Province of British Columbia. The spread of urbanization into this unzoned rural area in the form of a large block subdivision created a land use conflict with existing agricultural uses. The Regional District responded by proposing to zone the entire electoral area with a standard zoning by-law. Rural residents reacted to oppose this idea saying the standard zoning by-law is too stringent. The Regional District eventually spot zoned the property in question which limited the development to that which was initially proposed. While this measure solved the immediate problem, it did little to prevent future land use conflicts. The situation just described highlights the two issues which form the purpose of this study. First, that some form of land use control is necessary in rural areas because existing residents and land users should be protected from possible conflicting or undesirable land uses; and second, an alternative land use control should be developed to replace the standard zoning by-law which residents are so strongly opposed to. To obtain more information on what the main participants in rural land use planning think about the standard zoning by-law; Regional Planners were asked why they felt the implementation of the standard zoning by-law was important; and residents were asked why it should not be implemented? The statements by both groups were analyzed for their validity. Research showed that most of the planners statements were true but that existing provincial land use controls have more of an effect on development than is realized. Analysis of residents statements showed that some are based on rumours and emotions rather than fact. However, regardless of fact the way in which the public perceive a situation is important and must be considered. An investigation of the Development Permit, Flood Plain Zones, Spot Zones, Contract Zones and Conditional Zones as alternatives to the standard zoning by-law revealed their positive and negative aspects along with their suitability for implementation in Electoral Area "G". Incorporating what had been learned in previous chapters, a Rural Maintenance By-law proposes two important differences. First, is a list of prohibited uses rather than the usual permitted uses. A list of prohibited uses is felt to better suit the two zoning district concept being proposed. It also presents a more positive image of a land use regulation to the public. Second, flexibility is built into the concept by way of a conditional zoning technique. In this way, developments will not be restricted by the stringent regulations found in a standard zoning by-law. It will also encourage resident participation in the development process of their area. And finally, it will require the planner to work at the grass roots level with developers and residents to negotiate the best possible development for future generations.

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