UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Planning for urban lakes and residential development Reeve, Noelle Anne Watt


The destructive impact of development upon the environment has been recognized worldwide since the mid-1960s. One aspect of this environment-development conflict is the impact of urban development on water resources. This thesis evaluates how well a municipal planning process for an urban lake resolved the problems of the impact of residential development on lake water quality and the conflict over further development. The Burnaby, British Columbia planning process for Deer Lake is used as a case study. Three bodies of literature - urban lake planning, environment-development relationships, and conflict resolution -are used to provide the framework for the case study. Two criteria are developed from the literature to evaluate the planning process: its capability to produce ecologically compatible outcomes and its capability to resolve conflict. The main conclusion of the evaluation is that although the early phase of the Deer Lake process (1972-1978) was weak, there was a marked improvement in the most recent phase (1983-early 1987) in the capability of the process to produce ecologically compatible outcomes through the use of relevant scientific/technical information (to reduce the impacts on lake water quality caused by residential development). While the ability of the Burnaby planning process to anticipate conflict has always been strong, there is room for further development of the capability to resolve conflict. A further conclusion is that the Deer Lake planning process fits the typical profile of how urban lake planning has incrementally evolved in North America since the mid-1960s. A summary of the two sets of recommendations of the thesis follows. Recommendations regarding urban lake planning in . general include: 1. Municipal planners should take advantage of available information resources on lake planning (universities, colleges, higher levels of government, consultants) to broaden their awareness of potential impacts and ways to manage them. 2. Municipal planners should: understand watershed-lake relationships prior to formulating alternatives for urban lakes; seek a balance between environment and development; and require minimization of ecological impacts. 3. Municipal planners should recognize that urban lake planning may involve conflicts. They should therefore make themselves aware of the variety of conflict resolution techniques available. 4. The guidelines developed in section 6.5 should be considered by municipalities in planning for urban lakes. Recommendations regarding Deer Lake include: 1. Continue with the interdepartmental committee to plan and manage the lake. 2. The committee should implement further rehabilitation measures as soon as possible. 3. The committee should continue to anticipate and minimize ecological impacts. 4. The committee should maintain connections with UBC and Douglas College. 5. The planning department should determine the public's views on the agreement reached with the province for residential development of the prison site in the Deer Lake watershed and, if necessary, consider the resolution techniques described in Appendix 3.

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