Land Use planning involves using many different tools to achieve long term stability in the development of the island land base. In the Islands Trust Area, the focus of all long-range planning is the preservation of the environment and community sustainability.
There are three basic documents that guide and regulate development on the islands. At the most general level is the Islands Trust Policy Statement, which provides a broad planning framework to which all land use decisions must conform. Official Community Plans and Land Use Bylaws apply to specific islands or groups of islands.
Official Community Plans
Official Community Plans contain the broad goals and policies that help guide the preservation and development of an Island. Official Community Plans are developed with substantial input from the community, other government agencies and First Nations.
Official Community Plans are adopted and administered by each Island's Local Trust Committee.
Land Use Bylaws
Land Use Bylaws contain all the regulations that govern the use and density of the land, as well as other regulations such as setbacks, height restrictions, parking requirements, signage restrictions, drainage restrictions and subdivision servicing.
Land Use Bylaws are adopted and administered by each Island's Local Trust Committee.
All Local Trust Committee bylaws (Official Community Plans, Land/use Bylaw,) can be amended from time-to-time. The Local Trust Committee can elect to make changes for the good of the community, or in response to a community concern. A landowner can make an application to amend a bylaw to permit a change of use or density.
To apply for a bylaw amendment, please use an Islands Trust Rezoning Application form.
The Islands Trust planning staff provides advice to other agencies on land use related matters. These services include advising the Provincial Approving Officer on whether or not a subdivision application is consistent with the local land use bylaws; advising the Building Inspector whether or not a proposed building or structure is consistent with local land use bylaws; advising the Integrated Land Management Bureau whether or not a lease application is consistent with local land use bylaws. Local Trust Committees receive applications for exclusion or non-farm use in the Agricultural Land Reserve and determines whether or not to forward to the Agricultural Land Commission.
Building Strata Conversions
A building strata conversion is the division of an existing building into strata lots. In these cases, the landowner must apply to the Local Trust Committee for a building strata conversion.
A Local Trust Committee has the authority to establish Advisory Planning Commissions for the purpose of providing advice on all aspects of planning and land use. The Commissions are made up of local residents who are appointed for a specific period of time (usually two years). Some Advisory Planning Commissions are for specific subjects, such as transportation, aquaculture, and environmental issues or, for certain development permit areas. To provide some guidance for Advisory Planning Commissions a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding conflict of interest and bias has been compiled.