Land Use Planning

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is the local authority for land use planning and decision making in the Interlakes Area. Headquartered at 180 North 3rd Avenue in Williams Lake, the District also has an office in the South Cariboo Recreation Center on Airport Road in 100 Mile House.

The Planning Services department of the CRD operates out of the Williams Lake office although development applications can be submitted and development documents can be viewed at the 100 Mile House office.

“Planning Services facilitates planned development within the unincorporated areas of the Cariboo Regional District. The department has long-range and current planning components in its mandate. The long-range planning component includes the research and development of land use policies and regulations. Land use policies are adopted as official community plans, and land use regulations are adopted as zoning bylaws. Rural land use bylaws are an alternative that combine land use policies and regulations.” (CRD website)

Development applications are reviewed by Planning Services to determine their consistency with the relevant Official Community Plan. For those proposals which are not consistent with the Plan, the developer may request that the Official Community Plan and the associated Zoning Bylaw be amended to allow the development to proceed. The process for making these changes includes the following:

  • Developer provides relevant information to CRD Planning Services
  • Discussion takes place between developer and the Planning Services staff to determine if modifications should be made to the proposal to make it more acceptable
  • Planning Services prepares a report and recommendation
  • Planning Services forwards the proposal to Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Environment and the Medical Health Officer for their review and comments
  • Planning Services refers the proposal to the Advisory Planning Commission for their review and comments
  • The proposal is placed on the agenda for the CRD Board of Directors and is posted along with the Planning Department report and any other relevant documents on the CRD website about one week prior to the scheduled meeting.
  • The CRD Board of Directors gives first and second reading to the bylaws at a regular Board meeting in Williams Lake
  • The local Director chairs a Public Hearing for the proposal between first and third reading of the bylaws
  • The local Director provides a written summary of the Public Hearing results to the Planning Department for inclusion in the document package
  • Third reading of the bylaws is scheduled for a meeting of the CRD Board of Directors and the relevant documents are posted on the CRD website about one week prior to the scheduled meeting.
  • The CRD Board of Directors decides to approve the bylaws with or without conditions, reject the proposal or defer the decision to a later date
  • Final adoption of the bylaws takes place either at the same time as third reading or at a subsequent meeting. In the case of a major proposal, the bylaws must be reviewed by the provincial Ministry of Community Services prior to final adoption.

Following final adoption of the bylaws amending the Community Plan and the zoning bylaw, the developer is free to proceed with the planned subdivision and development of the property. This will require the filing of appropriate legal documents and obtaining of various permits from a number of regulatory authorities.

The Friends of Bridge Lake experience with the “Heritage” island development proposal demonstrated a number of deficiencies with the public consultation process. One of the concerns is that only minimal effort is put into notifying interested parties about a development application.

Another concern is, that a fair participation of the public can only be achieved, when every resident (permanent and non-permanent) has the opportunity to attend the Public Hearings held by the CRD after the 1st and 2nd reading of a rezoning application. To this effect, the Friends of Bridge Lake together with the Friends of Lac des Roches and Birch Lake, the Deka Lake Ratepayers Association and the Green Lake Area Ratepayers Association have written a letter to the CRD Area ‘L’ director Bruce Rattray asking him to implement a policy that Public Hearings for “major developments” are only held between the beginning of May and the end of October.


Further information:     

There are a number of key documents related to the land use planning and approval process. These include:

  • Interlakes Official Community Plan

    Read it here or get the original from the CRD

  • Interlakes Official Community Plan – Background Report

    The results of the 2003 questionnaire in preparation of the 2004 Interlakes Area Official Community Plan. Click here to download this file (pdf 39 pages, 2.5 MByte).

  • Cariboo Regional District Bylaw No. 3501

    This is the zoning bylaw that applies to the Interlakes Area. Find this file here (pdf 115 pages, 0.5 MByte)

  • Shoreland Management Policy 2004

    Click here to download the file (pdf 35 pages, 0.7 MByte)

  • Local Government Act

    The Local Government Act provides the legislative authority for municipal and regional governments and establishes the basic rules for their operation.

    The Table of Contents covering the 30 Parts of the Act and its 1040 clauses can be found on the British Columbia Government website.

    Of particular relevance to land use planning are the following parts:

    The Regional District Bylaw Approval Exemption Regulation restricts ministerial approval of amendments of Official Community Plans and Zoning Bylaws to proposals that create 30 or more new parcels or dwelling units, or involves 20 ha or more of land, or applies solely to Crown land.

  • Ministry of Community Development

    For those who don't enjoy reading acts and regulations, the Local Government Department of the Ministry of Community Development provides a more readable description of the authorities and processes which apply to municipal and regional districts on its website.

    Of particular relevance to land use planning are the following sections: