Islands Trust - Related Planning Services

By: Islands Trust  09-12-2011
Keywords: Land Use Bylaws

The Islands Trust works cooperatively with First Nations, Federal, Provincial and regional agencies to further the object of the Islands Trust. We have established protocol agreements with many agencies that outline areas of joint interest and how we will work together.

The building inspection function is the responsibility of regional districts. In most cases, the building inspectors interpret local zoning and land use bylaws when issuing building permits; in cases where the building inspector is not sure of the zoning, the building inspector will refer the permit application to Islands Trust planners to confirm compliance with zoning regulations.

Landowners may find that zoning regulations create hardship when applied to their property; in these cases, the landowner may seek relief from the bylaw by applying to the Board of Variance. The board is made up of one member appointed by the Province, one member appointed by the local trust committee and one member appointed by the other two members. The board of variance usually only considers minor variances in which the zoning regulations create a clear hardship.

In most areas of the Islands Trust, local water supply is supplied through private wells. Currently, there are no regulations governing extraction of ground water; however, land owners should take care not to disrupt the water supply to neighboring wells when drilling for a new water supply. Some areas of the Islands Trust are supplied by community water systems. These systems are either operated by the regional district, or operated privately as a strata corporation or as an improvement district.

Land and Water BC Inc. administers all publicly owned Crown land (except for parks and ecological reserves) in the Province; this includes all of the foreshore and surface of the sea and most lakes. Landowners wishing to place a dock on the foreshore adjacent to their property, or have any other kind of tenure, such as an aquaculture lease, must first obtain a license of occupation from Land and Water BC Inc.  Land and Water BC Inc. refers applications to the Islands Trust to confirm that the zoning is in place for the requested use.

In the Islands Trust Area, the Ministry of Transportation is responsible for approving subdivisions (except on Bowen Island, where the municipality is responsible). The Approving Officer will issue a Preliminary Layout Approval (PLA), if the application appears to be consistent with the minimum lot sizes as established in the local zoning bylaws. The Approving Officer requires written confirmation from the Islands Trust that the proposed subdivision meets all local bylaws prior to issuing the PLA. Therefore, landowners should contact the Islands Trust early to discuss zoning issues.

The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is expected to be created by the end of 2003 and will include large areas of Saturna, Mayne, North Pender and South Pender islands as well as many smaller islands in the vicinity. Planning and administration of the park is the responsibility of Parks Canada.

Provincial Parks are on larger islands and many smaller islands, and include the many marine parks with water access only. The Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection is responsible for planning and administration of these parks.

Regional Parks are on located on many islands, some adjacent to Provincial parks. The local regional district is responsible for planning and administration of these parks.

Local Parks include small water accesses, trails, playgrounds and sports fields. These parks are planned and administered by a local parks and recreation commission under the jurisdiction of the Regional District or directly by the Regional District if no commission is appointed. On Bowen Island the parks are administered by the Bowen Island Municipal Council.

The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch is responsible for Liquor control and licensing. Some applications for new licenses or expansion of existing licenses are referred to the local trust committee for comment and community input.

Industry Canada is responsible for regulating all communication towers. Industry Canada works with local communities and the Islands Trust during the review of new tower applications.

Keywords: Land Use Bylaws

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