Community
How can we build our homes and communities so that they co-exist harmoniously with Nature? What does it mean to create a sustainable house, a sustainable community, a sustainable city? For each additional day that we live, design and build unsustainably, we pull another fibre out of the fabric of Earth’s ecosystems.
 

The Legal Framework

MAKING SURE IT ALL HAPPENS....

Many people find the vision of a community that sets a new standard for social and environmental responsibility attractive - but who's to say it will all happen? To take a worst-case scenario, what if the owners were to turn around after rezoning and sell the land to someone who had no interest in the broader community or environmental issues? Even if they did, a detailed framework of legal constraints and enforcements will be in place that spells out the requirements and regulations necessary to provice ecological protection and to build a community on that site. These two pages explain how the whole system works.

1. OFFICIAL PLAN AMENDMENT BYLAW No 1500

All of the Bamberton lands will be subject to this bylaw. The Official Plan describes the overall concepts of the plan, and establishes guidelines and objectives for affordable housing, ecological protection, watercourse protection, land and air quality protection, roads and transportation, sewage treatment, water supply, solid waste management, storm water management, neighbourhood design, types of housing, commercial and recreational uses, phasing, landscaping guidelines, etc. The bylaw also lays down the legal basis for establishing the whole area of Bamberton as a Development Permit Area. The proposed Bylaw must receive approval from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. It will then will become law after 4th Reading by the CVRD Board.

2. CVRD ZONING BYLAW No 1501

The Zoning Bylaw regulates land-use by dividing the land into specific zones. Within each zone, regulations determine the use of land, permitted density, type of structures and parcel sizes, provision of amenities and affordable housing, and lays specific regulations regarding permissable density, uses, heights, parcel sizes (etc) for each neighbourhood, and regarding tree-cutting, secondary suites, home-based businesses, parking, watercourse protection, and the process for dealing with violations. The Bylaw will become law after 4th Reading by the CVRD Board.

3. PROVINCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Water supply, sewage treatment, biodiversity protection, watercourse protection, storm water management, site remediation and solid waste planning all require approval by the Ministry of the Environment, Lands and Parks before anything can proceed. Road standards, traffic impacts, drainage, geotechnical safety and subdivision all require the approval of the Ministry of Transport and Highways. Archaeological resources are protected through the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry Responsible for Culture.

4. DEVELOPMENT PERMITS

Bamberton has been designated as a Development Permit Area by the CVRD. This will allow the regional district to control the nature and pace of development, and to regulate protection of the environment, and the form and character of the town as a whole. Permits will be issued on a stage-by-stage basis, and will only be given when the CVRD's planners are satisfied that the requirements laid down in Bylaws 1500 and 1501 will be met or exceeded, providing a performance-based process for approvals. Prior to proceeding with any construction or subdivision, South Island will have to apply for a Permit for that specific area. Each application will be available for full public review before being considered by the CVRD Board.

5. THE REGISTERED BUILDING SCHEME

South Island is establishing a Registered Building Scheme for Bamberton as a whole, as a set of covenants under Section 216 of the Land Titles Act. The Scheme includes an Architectural Code which prescribes standards for architectural design, environmental building materials, energy efficiency, site preparation and landscaping. It includes an Environmental Code containing various restrictions, including the requirement that 25% of each lot is left in its natural vegetative state, and no-build covenants. The Scheme will be implemented by the Bamberton Design Review Committee, and Building Permits will not be issued unless plans meet the terms of the Scheme.

6. RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS

The Land Titles Act allows the use of covenants under Sections 215 and 216 to regulate activities relating to land-use. Section 215 covenants may only be held by the Crown (the province) or by local government such as the Regional District. For Bamberton, the CVRD may introduce Section 215 covenants to allow further control over the zoning process and tree cutting. Section 216 covenants are prohibitive in nature, and are registered against the title of individual properties. Within the Registered Building Scheme, specific ecological covenants will protect wildlife corridors, buffer zones and other habitats, as well as restricting the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Every resident at Bamberton will be a signatory to the covenants, which will help secure enforcement, whether by a Bamberton Nature Trust, the Bamberton Design Review Committee, or any other group.

7. OTHER LEGAL PROVISIONS

In addition to Bylaws 1500 and 1501, the CVRD will wish to create new bylaws and amend existing ones in order to provide the necessary administrative infrastructure for Bamberton, such as Fire Protection, Subdivision Servicing, or Screening. The CVRD may also write a bylaw covering aspects of affordable housing, under the new provisions of Bill 57. As a result of the government technical review, it is possible that further bylaws may also be forthcoming. For any marine aspects of the planning, such as the Marina, approval is needed from the Canadian Coast Guard and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Islands Trust.

VOLUNTARY COMMITMENTS

In addition to the legal provisions outlined, there are a number of features of the Bamberton planning which are unusual for land developments of this kind, and for which there is no precedent for legal enforcement. In these instances, it will be the commitment by South Island itself, by future Bamberton residents and by other concerned citizens which will secure their realization.

This chart indicates the legal enforcement mechanisms for a sampling of important aspects of the Bamberton plans, and shows which aspects depend on voluntary commitments.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Comments

Urban Design

Narrow streets. . . . . . . . . . . .

Small setbacks. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Walking neighbourhoods . . . . .

High school . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Parks and open spaces . . . . . . . .

Tot lots and play areas . . . . . . . .

Waterfront walkway . . . . . . . . .

General Issues

Zoning density . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Development phasing . . . . . . . . . .

Urban containment boundary . . . . . .

Water supply . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Archaeological impact assessment . . . .

Recycling & Waste Management . . . .

Ecological Protection

Tertiary sewage treatment . . . . . . . .

Oldgrowth forest protection . . . . . . .

Garry Oak areas protection . . . . . . .

Rare/endangered plants protection . . . .

Tree-cutting regulations . . . . . . . . .

Park-space protection . . . . . . . . . .

40-metre waterfront buffer strip . . . . .

30-metre buffer-strip along highway . . .

Storm-water management plan . . . . .

No chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc . .

25% of each lot under native species . . .

Landscaping . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Site Protection Code . . . . . . . . . .

Neighbourhood rare plants surveys . . .

Contaminated areas remediation . . . . .

Saanich Inlet Marine Code . . . . . . .

Housing

Architectural standards . . . . . . . . .

Energy & water efficiency standards . . .

Environmental building materials . . . . .

Maximum height & parcel coverage . . . .

Affordability - innovative approaches . . .

Secondary suites . . . . . . . . . . . .

Affordable rental provision . . . . . . .

Congregate care, seniors housing . . . .

Community Land Trust . . . . . . . . .

Affordable Housing Coordinator . . . . .

Annual Affordability Review . . . . . . .

Transportation & Economy

Zoning provision for businesses . . . .

Provision for home-based businesses . .

Car-pooling program . . . . . . . . .

Community Minibus . . . . . . . . .

Bamberton Business Code . . . . . . .