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Towards a positive policy for neighbourhood shopping centre location Jellinek, Tommy John

Abstract

As a result of changing conditions in Canada since the Second World War, suburban municipalities, that is those municipalities adjacent to urban centres which still have agricultural land, have found themselves coping with the problems of rapid urbanization. The suburban municipalities seem to have failed in meeting these problems, partly as the result of not having a positive land use policy. By positive policy is meant the type which states objectives and attempts to achieve these goals as opposed to the negative type which merely regulates. This lack of a positive policy is especially noticeable in regard to the location of the neighbourhood shopping centre, which is the focal point of modern residential suburban development. An examination of the public interest in general terms, and then specifically in regard to the location of the neighbourhood shopping centre shows that the public interest warrants control as to its location. The control techniques in the past have been Conventional Zoning and Subdivision Control. By Conventional Zoning is meant the type of zoning which is carried out without corelation with a general or master plan for development of the municipality. A historical and legal examination of these two techniques shows that although they were effective to some extent in the past, they are basically weak owing to their negative character, and also they are not suited to control land use in regard to modern methods of development. This is shown by examining these two techniques in effect in a sample suburban municipality of Delta, B.C. Since Conventional Zoning and Subdivision Control are found to be ineffective, such positive techniques as land acquisition, purchase of development rights, land assembly, replotting, modern zoning techniques, and different physical and economic controls are examined as to their effectiveness on the Canadian scene and in the countries where they are extensively used. The different techniques are then tried out hypothetically as they might be used to control the location of the neighbourhood shopping centre in the example municipality of Delta, B.C. It is found that the purchase of the future site of the neighbourhood shopping centre is the most effective way in which a Canadian suburban municipality can control the location of its neighbourhood shopping centre. The conclusion from the study is that Canadian suburban municipalities in the past have not met the challenge of rapid urbanization both in general terms and specifically in regard to controlling the location of the neighbourhood shopping centre which is the key to modern suburban residential development. This challenge can be met if the suburban municipalities adopt a positive policy for the overall development of the municipality which will be reflected in the use of a technique such as site purchase to control the location of the neighbourhood shopping centre.

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