What plans do we have and will they achieve our vision?
This is page 5 of 5 webpages in the PLANNING OUR FUTURE discussion.
Land use planning is a rough quiltwork; sometimes there are comfy layers upon layers and sometimes there are disturbing gaps.
Land use plans provide guidance for subsequent decisions made by government. Government agencies and local governments make decisions about the use of public resources (timber, mining, water), about selling public land, or restricting how private land can be used (zoning).
Planning on Public Lands
At the highest level for public lands are strategic land use plans. These include land and resource management plans (LRMP), regional land use plans and sustainable resource management plans. Strategic planning is the responsibility of Integrated Land Management Bureau.
LRMPs in the Bulkley Valley:
- Bulkley Valley Sustainable Resource Management Plan provides a more detailed level of planning within the Bulkley LRMP for the area from around Hungry Hill to just north of Moricetown.
ILMB’s webpage What is Strategic Land Use Planning? states:
Land and resource management plans (LRMPs) are sub-regional integrated resource plans that seek to create a vision for use and management of public provincial lands and resources.
LRMPs generally provide:
- broad land use zones defined on a map;
- objectives that guide management of natural resources in each zone;
- strategies for achieving the objectives; and,
- a socio-economic and environmental assessment that evaluates the plan.
Under the LRMP, in the hierarchy of public land use planning, are
- landscape unit plans (follow LRMP links to find associated LUPs)
- management plans for area-based tenures (Look at Business under Who’s Planning”)
- forest stewardship plans (Look at Business under Who’s Planning”)
- business operational plans
Local Government Planning
Municipalities and regional districts use official community plans to provide longer term vision for the community. Look at Municipalities and Regional Districts under Who’s Planning to find links to official community plans and associated bylaws.
The Local Government Department of the Ministry of Community Services states:
Under the Local Government Act section 875, an OCP is a statement of objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management, within the area covered by the plan, respecting the purposes of local government.
Official community plans … are policy and not regulatory instruments. While they are binding on council and boards, they have no regulatory effect. This means if council or a board wishes to control the use of private land then they must back up the plan up with appropriate regulatory bylaws. While, these bylaws are separate from the official community plan but they must be consistent with the official community plan.
The bylaws associated with official community plans regulate the land use of private land within the plan area.
Businesses and community groups also have their own land use plans that may be available for public viewing.
See Valley Vision’s pages under Who’s Planning for links to other plans.
How can we see whether our plans are working if we lose our vision?
The Bulkley Valley is covered by three strategic land use plans, more than half a dozen official community plans and numerous other agency and business plans. Whether explicitly stated or not, each plan has a vision of the future that it is trying to attain.
At the moment, it is not clear whether these plans are complementary or conflicting — or whether there are significant gaps or overlaps. Given the number of plans guiding land use decisions, the Bulkley Valley could benefit from a higher level of coordination and harmony. With this website, Valley Vision is encouraging research and public discussion on these matters.
The effectiveness of the plans in achieving a comprehensive vision cannot be assessed until there is some level of consensus about the Valley’s vision. The Valley Vision page, What is our Vision for the Valley? encourages and facilitates a publicly developed community vision for the entire Bulkley Valley. Residents and planners can then use that vision to evaluate the current plans and planning processes.
Until we have such a vision we can still explore and discuss several general questions:
- Are the current plans achieving their intended goals?
- How do we evaluate the effectiveness of these plans?
- How can we encourage and facilitate more community involvement in planning processes?
- If the greater Bulkley Valley community has a comprehensive vision for the future, how should the current planning framework utilize that vision?
- Use the power and flexibility of a grass-roots project (Valley Vision) to influence new plans?
- Seek to have current plans amalgamated or create an overarching plan to guide other plans?
How else can we improve the direction and effectiveness of planning in the Bulkley Valley?
In considering these questions, take a look at Valley Vision’s Planning Approaches and Examples under Learn in the Quick Links.