Overview

The Juan de Fuca Electoral Area (JdFEA) Community Planning Service mandate is to develop community plans, implement and administer land use regulations by providing professional advice and recommendations on planning processes and development services providing for orderly growth, protection of the environment, sustainable communities and resource management.

Community Planning provides land use planning and development services and related Committee/Commission administrative support for the communities of East Sooke, Malahat, Otter Point, Port Renfrew, the Rural Resource Lands, Shirley and Jordan River, and Willis Point.

With substantial public involvement, Community Planning administers five Official Community Plans (OCPs), two Comprehensive Community Development Plans and five land use (zoning) bylaws. Community Planning manages various public approval processes including amendments to OCPs and land use bylaws, reviews development permit, development variance permit, soil permit and temporary use permit applications and prepares approved permits. Community Planning is also involved in other planning matters such as the review of building permit applications for conformance with land use regulations, subdivision applications, Agricultural Land Commission referrals and Crown referrals.

Authority

In Electoral Areas (EAs), a regional district provides the services of a municipal government, such as community planning and land use regulation, building inspection, community parks, water distribution, sewerage collection, fire protection, street lighting and nuisance regulation.

Through Supplementary Letters Patent, Division VIII, Planning, dated December 30, 1969 the CRD Board exercises powers of community planning and development services in the JdFEA. Planning in the JdFEA is governed by provincial legislation including the Community Charter, Local Government Act (LGA), the Strata Property Act, Land Title Act, Transportation Act, Riparian Areas Regulation, and the Agricultural Land Commission Act. Planning in the JdFEA is also governed by the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) in that all bylaws adopted in the JdFEA must conform to the RGS and this includes all OCPs and land use bylaws.

The CRD Board is the land use decision making body for the JdFEA. The Electoral Area Director is the area's representative on the CRD Regional Board and on a number CRD Standing Committees. The Electoral Area Regional Director is also a voting member on many Committees/Commissions established by CRD bylaw which make recommendation on planning and land use issues to the CRD Regional Board.

For the JdFEA, BC Regulation 65/90 has established two Board committees to deal with LGA Part 26 development applications, proposed bylaws and policies. Voting Block A deals with items in East Sooke, Otter Point, Port Renfrew, Rural Resource Lands and Shirley/Jordan River and Voting Block B deals with Malahat and Willis Point items. Those items which affect the entire JdFEA are considered by the full Board.

Administration

Community Planning falls under the CRD’s Planning and Protective Services Department and is located in the new JdFEA Local Services Building in Otter Point.

A network of CRD Board-appointed citizen organizations advises the CRD Board on land use planning issues and include the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee, six Advisory Planning Commissions, an Agricultural Advisory Planning Commission. The Board has also established two Boards of Variance.

The Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee (LUC) is established under Bylaw No. 3166 and is comprised of the Electoral Area Director and one representative from East Sooke, Malahat, Otter Point, Port Renfrew, Shirley/Jordan River, and Willis Point. The members are nominated by their community through an election process and appointed for a four year term by the Board. The role of the LUC is to provide recommendations to the Board on Part 26 development applications, bylaws and policies based upon their consideration of the impacts and benefits to the broader community.

The opinions and views of the general public are considered a very important part of the review of applications and the development of policies and plans. The CRD has established several Advisory Planning Commissions (APCs) to facilitate public involvement in the planning process. The purpose of an APC is to advise the Board on all matters respecting land use, community planning or proposed bylaws and permits that are referred to it by the LUC, the Electoral Area Director or the Board. The APCs are established for East Sooke, Malahat, Otter Point, Port Renfrew, Shirley/Jordan River, and Willis Point under Bylaw No. 2945.

The Agricultural Advisory Planning Commission was established under Bylaw No. 3517 to provide advice to the LUC, CRD Board and staff regarding agricultural issues and the potential impact of planning decisions on agriculture.

The Juan de Fuca Board of Variance established under Bylaw No. 3376 and the Malahat, Willis Point Board of Variance established under Bylaw No. 3839 to consider development applications where an applicant is requesting a minor variance to relieve hardship from a land use bylaw provision pursuant to Section 899 - 902 and 911 of the LGA. The Board of Variance members are appointed by the CRD Board. The decisions of the Boards of Variance are rulings in their own right and not submitted as recommendations to the CRD Board for ratification.

Funding

Community Planning is funded through an approved budget formalized through an annual CRD tax requisition (property tax) and through application fees.