Growth Management and Regional Sustainability

The Local Government Act requires a review of a Regional Growth Strategy five years after it is adopted. In 2008, the CRD initiated the five-year review of the 2003 RGS. As part of the review, the CRD investigated options for expanding RGS content to include:

  • Climate action
  • Community health and well-being
  • Emergency management and natural disasters
  • Energy systems
  • Food and agriculture systems

This expanded content was developed in collaboration with local, provincial and federal government staff and presented to the CRD Board in a draft Regional Sustainability Strategy document. The public was asked for ideas at the start of the process, invited to track progress and to comment on the final draft strategy. The CRD Board is now evaluating how an updated Regional Growth Strategy and other CRD documents could address this content.

Update Process

The RGS review and update is being undertaken as an iterative process. Research, policy options and draft documents are developed each in turn before being formally adopted as a bylaw. The process is currently at the document drafting stage.

Local governments have two years after the acceptance of a final Strategy to prepare Regional Context Statements that outline how their Official Community Plans align with the Strategy.

As the RGS is an expression of regional vision, goals and objectives, the CRD Board guides the development of the document. The Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee directs the development of the draft RGS document. Previously, this direction had been provided through the Committee of the Whole. Committee meeting summaries are listed below.

Next Steps

The timing outlined below is dependent on Board direction. Timing could be changed based on Board direction at any point in the update process.

  • Late Fall 2016: Report to Board on public hearing feedback and receive direction to update RGS bylaw, if required
  • Municipal referral for RGS acceptance TBD
  • Third bylaw reading and adoption TBD

If you would like to receive updates on the process, please email us to be added to our contact list.

CRD Board and Committee Meetings

July 14, 2017

Minister Directs Dispute Resolution

As requested by the CRD Board, the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development has directed a non-binding dispute resolution process to reach agreement on the 2016 RGS. The next step is for the CRD and the seven rejecting municipalities to agree on a mediator and on how non-binding dispute resolution is to be carried out. Any municipality who accepted the RGS may participate in the process. Costs will be shared proportionally between the CRD and all municipalities who participate.

Six municipalities (Langford, Metchosin, Oak Bay Sidney, Sooke and Victoria) accepted the 2016 RGS. Seven municipalities (Central Saanich, Colwood, Esquimalt, Highlands, North Saanich, Saanich and View Royal) rejected the 2016 RGS.

For details, see:

February 22, 2017 Board Meeting

The CRD Board initiated dispute resolution on the 2016 RGS bylaw at its February 22, 2017 meeting. Provincial legislation requires that all municipalities in the CRD accept the RGS before it can be adopted as bylaw. By the February 2, 2017 deadline, six municipalities resolved to accept and seven to reject. In accordance with the provincially-mandated RGS update process, the CRD Board will notify the province that not all municipalities accepted the RGS. The Board unanimously agreed to request a non-binding dispute resolution process and also resolved to request that the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area be given an equal voice in the process.

For details, see:

November 23, 2016 Board Meeting

At its November 23, 2016 meeting, the CRD Board considered input from the public hearing, directed minor content changes and referred the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) bylaw for municipal acceptance.

Referral for municipal acceptance is the last step in the provincially-mandated update process before the RGS bylaw can be adopted. The referral period is 60 days, beginning December 2, 2016. Before the CRD Board can adopt the RGS bylaw, it must be accepted by all municipalities; if acceptance cannot be reached, provincial legislation sets out a process for resolving outstanding matters.

For details, see:

The Board also provided direction relating to water servicing and the Port Renfrew Comprehensive Community Development Plan.

November 9, 2016 Board Meeting

2016 RGS Municipal Referral

To allow for a more in-depth review of the October 9, 2016 public hearing input and possible 2016 RGS policy changes, the Board deferred consideration of this agenda item to a later date. For more information on the input received at the public hearing and potential policy responses, please see the staff report (item 7.7).

2003 RGS Amendment

The Board gave first and second reading to Bylaw 4124, which amends the 2003 RGS by extending the Regional Urban Containment and Servicing Policy Area (RUCSPA) boundary. The Board initiated the amendment September 14, 2016 at the request of the District of Metchosin, the City of Langford and the Beecher Bay First Nation (Sc’ainew).

In accordance with provincial requirements, the Board referred Bylaw 4124 to municipal councils for acceptance. The referral period is 60 days, ending on January 9, 2017.

Details:

October 12, 2016 - CRD Board

At its October 12, 2016 meeting, the CRD Board revised the 2016 RGS bylaw document to expand the extent of the Renewable Resource Lands Policy Area shown in Map 3: Growth Management Concept Plan in the community of Shirley-Jordan River. This revision is an outcome of the Shirley-Jordan River Official Community Plan (OCP) process.

For more detail on the revision, please see:

September 21, 2016 - CRD Board

On September 21, 2016, the Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee passed a motion recommending that the Board revise the RGS to expand the extent of the RGS Renewable Resources Lands Policy Area shown in Map 3: Growth Management Concept Plan in the community of Shirley-Jordan River. This proposed revision is the outcome of the Shirley-Jordan River Official Community Plan (OCP) process.

For more detail on the proposed revision, please see the staff report.

The Board will likely consider the recommended revision at its October 12, 2016 meeting and could give first and second reading to an updated RGS Bylaw 4017 reflecting the change at that time.

September 14, 2016 - CRD Board

On September 14, 2016 the CRD Board initiated an amendment to the 2003 RGS to extend the Regional Urban Containment and Servicing Policy Area (RUCSPA) boundary. The amendment was initiated at the request of the District of Metchosin, the City of Langford and the Beecher Bay First Nation.

The Board also set a date for the public hearing on the Regional Growth Strategy bylaw, for October 19, 2016.

Please see the staff report for more detail.

July 13, 2016 - CRD Board

On July 13, 2016, the CRD Board gave first and second reading to the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) bylaw.

The next step in the update process is to hold a public meeting in the early fall for residents to comment on the document. All those interested are encouraged to submit their input. Comments will be summarized and presented to the CRD Board for their consideration in finalizing the bylaw. The public meeting times will be advertised closer to the date.

Following the public meeting, all municipalities within the Capital region will be asked to accept the growth strategy. The bylaw can only be adopted if all the municipalities accept the document.

June 29, 2016 - Committee of the Whole

The Committee of the Whole received input from municipal Councils and the Juan de Fuca (JdF) Land Use Committee (LUC) on the draft 2016 Regional Growth Strategy (RGS).

The committee directed staff to revise the draft 2016 RGS document as follows:

  • Integrate a section on food and agriculture;
  • Integrate a section describing municipalities;
  • Integrate water servicing criteria;
  • Provide for climate action as the overarching objective of the RGS;
  • Edit the document to improve clarity and comprehensiveness;
  • Integrate additional policy provisions to ensure all policy that was covered in the Regional Sustainability Strategy is covered in the draft RGS.

Based on this direction, staff will bring forward a revised draft RGS for Board consideration.

March 9, 2016 - Committee of the Whole

Municipal Referral

At the March 9, 2016 meeting, the Board received the draft 2016 RGS for information and provided the following direction:

Invitation for Informal Municipal Referral: The Board resolved to invite municipal Councils and the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee to provide comment on the draft 2016 RGS - through an informal referral - by May 18, 2016.

Staff were directed to consider integrating a regional food systems section in the draft and to report back with an updated version of the community profiles in Appendix A of the 2003 RGS. These items will be prepared during the informal referral period.

RSS Content not Included in the Draft 2016 RGS: When the Committee of the Whole decides the final content of the 2016 RGS, staff will be directed to consider integrating Regional Sustainability Strategy content not captured in the draft 2016 RGS into subsidiary CRD documents.

Water servicing policy: The Board also affirmed its October 23, 2015 direction on removing RGS policy restrictions on the extension of water services outside the Regional Urban Containment Servicing Policy Area (RUCSPA).

Direction to Report Back with Summary of Input: Staff were directed to report back to the Committee of the Whole with a summary of municipal Council and electoral area input.

Watch Board meeting

February 24, 2016 - Planning, Transportation & Protective Services

February 24, 2016 Meeting

  • Report received for information: the PTPSC received the draft 2016 Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) for information.
  • Informal municipal referral: The Committee recommended that the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board invite municipal councils and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Land Use Committee to provide comment on the document through an informal referral.
  • Water servicing policy: The Committee also passed a motion that the CRD Board re-examine its October 23, 2015 direction on RGS policy provisions for the extension of water services and related proposed approval processes requiring a 2/3 majority requirement for acceptance of municipal Regional Context Statements and adoption of Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Official Community Plans.
  • February 24, 2016 - Agenda & Minutes

October 23, 2015 - Committee of the Whole

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on October 23, 2015, the CRD Board concluded its consideration of items related to the regional planning process, including water service policy options.

At its meeting, the Board directed staff to update the 2003 RGS document as follows:

  • remove water servicing as growth management tool
  • update the 2003 RGS to be consistent with any legislative changes
  • report on options for incorporating elements of the draft RSS into subsidiary documents that could address RSS policy areas
  • provide any remaining RSS information not captured in the updated RGS for the Board to review for possible inclusion in the updated RGS

September 30, 2015 - Committee of the Whole

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on September 30, 2015, the CRD Board discussed water service policy options requested from staff at its May 27, 2015 meeting.

The following items were deferred for consideration until the October 23, 2015 Committee meeting:

  • receive information on the RGS legislation, requirements and intentions that led to the adopted RGS
  • receive information on actions relating to water servicing that have been taken in implementing the RGS
  • provide direction on the preparation of a water servicing policy
  • provide direction on the content for an updated RGS that could include content from the draft RSS such as strengthening the RGS with respect to climate action, protection of natural areas and protection of agricultural lands

A notice of motion was also provided: “That staff be requested to provide a report to review the cost benefit of water reclamation by the core for the region and to make an addition to the RGS to pursue water reclamation where feasible.”

May 27, 2015 - Committee of the Whole

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on May 27, 2015 the CRD Board considered supplemental information to a staff report that was presented at their April 29, 2015 meeting regarding the Draft RSS.

The following actions were directed:

  • Call the document the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS)
  • Staff are to:
    • provide an information session on the RGS legislation, requirements and intentions that led to the adopted RGS
    • report back with proposed amendments to the RGS based on the work done for the RSS
    • report on options for strengthening the RGS with respect to climate action, protection of natural areas and protection of agricultural lands
    • clarify and provide information relating to the expansion of water services, including reporting back on the actions relating to water servicing that have been taken in implementing the RGS

The Board indicated that once they received the requested information, they would consider the following motion: “That the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area have the same opportunity for the expansion of water services as the municipalities have under the RGS or the RSS”.

Staff will report back to the Committee of the Whole with the above information compiled.

April 29, 2015 - Committee of the Whole

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 29, 2015 the CRD Board considered a staff report on the Draft Regional Sustainability Strategy and were asked to provide direction for moving forward. The Board heard from a number of delegations and received a large amount of information, including more than 500 pages of feedback. The discussion will continue at the next Board meeting, May 13, 2015.

A common theme from delegates was the desire to preserve what was achieved in the RGS, particularly the curbing of urban sprawl and creation of water servicing policies to support this - countered by the position that everyone should have access to the community water supply. Municipal partners and the JDF Electoral Area debated how to best achieve regional growth management and assess the level of commitment to a regional plan, since the plan can only be adopted if accepted by all municipalities.

October 22, 2014 - Committee of the Whole

June 25, 2014 - Planning, Transportation & Protective Services

February 26, 2014- Planning, Transportation & Protective Services

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