Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Updates to regional growth strategy include new "Langley Town Centre Langley Township" and "Langley Town Centre Langley City" mapping

From time to time, the Metro Vancouver Regional District updates the regional growth strategy, Metro 2050, with housekeeping changes such as fixing inconsistencies with mapping and labelling. The Regional District also updates the growth strategy to align the regional growth strategy with agreed-upon municipal Official Community Plan updates. Without getting into the weeds, municipal Official Community Plans must be consistent with regional growth strategies in BC.The regional district board is going through this update process now.

The provincial government now allows up to four housing units to be built on all urban lots by right in Metro Vancouver. The word "urban" is important because we have a rural land use designation in Metro Vancouver. Areas like Salmon River Uplands (Otter) in the Township of Langley are rural. The new provincial housing rules don't apply in rural areas.

There are four villages in Metro Vancouver: Anmore, Belcarra, Bowen Island, and Lions Bay. Except for Lions Bay, they are outside of the "urban" area. As was agreed back in 2022, one proposed update includes moving Lions Bay outside of the urban area, designating it as rural. This change means Lions Bay is not subject to the new provincial housing minimums.

Shows proposed adjustment of the Urban Containment Boundary to exclude Lions Bay and redesignate it as rural. Select the map to enlarge.

There is another interesting labelling change. Metro Vancouver's regional growth strategy aims to concentrate growth in urban centres. Langley City, north of the Nicomekl River and the Willowbrook area in the Township of Langley was traditionally called the "Langley Regional Centre" in regional growth strategies that date back to the 1990s. A proposed update includes breaking up this designation to the "Langley Town Centre Langley Township" and "Langley Town Centre Langley City." It's a mouthful, and though it doesn't have any meaningful impact, it does highlight that there are two municipalities, which is likely a good thing.

Proposed Update to Map 4: Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas. Select the map to enlarge.

Other proposed changes, beyond minor boundary adjustments and labelling, include updating the Regional Greenway Network and Major Bikeway Network and Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory maps to reflect updates since the adoption of the Metro 2050 regional growth strategy.

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