Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Updating Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy: What’s Working

Surrey City Hall

In BC, every municapicality must have an official community plan. Langley City recently adopted a new official community plan with the following goals:

Affordable living & diverse housing for all generations
A highly connected city aligned with rapid transit
A safe and inclusive city rich with community amenities
A responsive economy that creates new jobs
Environmental solutions to fight climate change

Langley City’s new development, bylaws, and policies must be consistent with its official community plan.

The provincial government requires that the Metro Vancouver Regional District adopt a regional growth strategy. All member municipalities’ official community plans must be consistent with the regional growth strategy.

The regional district is adopting a new regional growth strategy called “Metro 2050.” The 123-page document has five main goals:

Create a Compact Urban Area
Support a Sustainable Economy
Protect the Environment and Respond to Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Provide Diverse and Affordable Housing Choices
Support Sustainable Transportation Choices

At a high level, Langley City’s official community plan aligns with the proposed new regional growth strategy.

To adopt the new regional growth strategy, all 21 municipalities and one Treaty First Nation in Metro Vancouver must approve it.

Langley City Council or Anmore Village Council could block the adoption of the new regional growth strategy as it must be unanimously approved.

Metro Vancouver is now seeking official feedback from all its members. In December, Langley City Council provided its input, stating “the City strongly supports Metro Vancouver’s initiative to update the regional growth strategy.” There were also some suggested improvements.

So far, Metro Vancouver Regional District members and stakeholders support the following updates:

  • Linking land use and transportation planning through Major Transit Growth Corridors
  • Setting Urban Centre and Frequent Transit Development Area growth targets
  • Supporting infill development in transit-oriented neighbourhoods
  • Creating compact, complete communities and transit-oriented development
  • Having greater engagement with and integration of local First Nation planning and interests
  • Enhancing ecosystem protection with an emphasis on urban tree canopy cover expansion
  • Continuing protection of agricultural lands
  • Using an equity lens to address social issues and the needs of vulnerable populations
  • Building resilience by focusing on flood risk and other natural hazard mitigation
  • Creating rental and affordable housing policies, including targets
  • Setting climate actions targets such as greenhouse gas reduction targets
  • Including advocacy actions to other levels of government around housing affordability and income assistance.

Tomorrow, I’ll post about some areas of concern and what the regional district is doing to address those concerns.

No comments: