1 Smart By-Laws Guide Web Pages | West Coast Environmental Law


Smart By-Laws Guide Web Pages

Smart Growth Principles

With a projected 1.6 million more people calling BC home in 2025, municipalities are turning to smart growth approaches to maintain the livability of communities while ensuring that municipal costs do not snowball. Most importantly, this means using the landbase more efficiently and protecting working lands. It also means providing more choices – in housing, transportation and recreation – for our changing communities.

While population growth has had the greatest impact on the use of land over the past twenty-five years, changing demographics will have the largest effect in the near future. Over the next twenty-five years, the elder population in BC will increase by 100 percent – from 12.5 to 25 percent of the population. Household sizes are becoming smaller, while the population is growing. These demographic trends are resulting in more demand for different types of housing, including apartments, and access to nearby services. At the same time, many communities are limited geographically. Outward expansion is not possible.

  1. Promoting urban revitalization and rural preservation by containing urban areas, channelling development into existing neighbourhoods and adopting integrated planning and management approaches
  2. Incorporating green infrastructure into communities
  3. Creating compact complete communities by mixing land uses and using land more efficiently
  4. Increasing transportation choices through land use decisions
  5. Creating inclusive neighbourhoods by ensuring that a diversity of housing types are accessible to a wide range of people of different age groups, family types and incomes
  6. Maximizing the enduring benefits of developments by using resources wisely on sites and in buildings that are tailored to specific neighbourhood conditions
  7. Supporting municipal goals through cost recovery by ensuring that development cost charges and property taxes reflect the true cost of different types of growth
  8. Promoting smart growth throughout the development process by reforming administrative processes and addressing liability issues