Development, Engineering and Planning Department

Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw Renewal – March 2018

The department is leading the update and renewal of the Official Community Plan (Bylaws 1919, 2011 and 1919-A1, 2018) and Zoning Bylaw (No. 2039, 2018). These documents contain the long-term vision for land use, development, infrastructure, environmental protection and sustainability. They also guide decision making around current land uses and the character of the community.

The planned updates address five key themes:

  1. Environmental Sustainability
  2. Affordable Housing
  3. Asset Management, Transportation and Infrastructure
  4. Development Permit Areas for Form and Character and Environmental Protection
  5. Implementation and Administration

The department held outreach meetings on Environmental Sustainability and Affordable Housing and studied affordable housing issues in depth before drafting the bylaw changes in the summer and fall and fall of 2017. High priority changes in support of affordable and sustainable housing passed final reading on March 26, 2018.

Key changes to the bylaws include several provisions in support of affordable housing, including lowering minimum dwelling sizes and enabling garden suites (also known as laneway houses, carriage homes, and detached accessory dwelling units across most of the City. Tiny Homes on Wheels may also be constructed or placed in certain circumstances (industrial property watchperson’s quarters, in residential lots with temporary use permit / provisional occupancy until placed on a foundation and converted to a garden suite or principal residence). Please contact the department for further information (planning@grandforks.ca / 250.442.8266).

Work will continue in 2018 on ecosystem protection and environmental sustainability following completion of the Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory.

DEPARTMENT FUNCTIONS

The Development and Engineering department’s primary planning and technical functions are dealing and assisting with all types of land issues such as subdivision, development, building, zoning and sustainable community plan enforcement, preparing bylaws, ROW’s, road closures, dedications, business license approvals, managing capital/special projects, providing long term capital planning, capital budgeting/cost estimating, reviewing technical engineering reports, tendering projects and preparing RRP’s, RFQ’s, administering contracts, providing construction inspection and liaising with various ministries, consultants, developers, contractors, customers, residents and internal departments.

DEVELOPMENT, ENGINEERING & PLANNING STAFF

Manager of Development and Engineering: Dolores Sheets
Senior Planner: Graham Watt
Engineering Technologist: Rosemary Dykhuizen

Planning Technician: Wendy Whelen

CURRENT NOTIFICATIONS

  • CannaFest Music Festival Ltd. (CannaFest) has applied to the City for a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) to host RV and tent camping for special events such as CannaFest on their property between 68th and 70th Ave south of Silver Kettle. Related recreational activities or special events may also be held on the site from time to time. Please see the staff report (link) and map (link) from the April 9th Council Meeting as well as the letter being provided to neighbouring residents and property owners (link) and newspaper notice (link).

GRAND FORKS DEVELOPMENT, ENGINEERING & PLANNING DOWNLOADS

Temporary Commercial & Industrial Use

As outlined in the Official Community Plan Bylaw No.1919-A1, Council’s policy is as follows:

  • Policy 10.3.9 Temporary Use Permit applications will be considered by Council on a case-by-case basis within all zone areas on the City of Grand Forks Official Zoning Map.

The Sustainable Community Plan (SCP)

[This information has been supplied for information purposes only.]

The SCP is a policy tool used by municipal governments for land use planning. A Community Plan is a general statement of goals and policy objectives related to the form and character of current and future land use and servicing requirements in the area covered by the plan.

The Community Plan provides some level of certainty to residents and landowners regarding the location and nature of change in the community.

The SCP also provides guidance to Municipal Councils when they are faced with making decisions related to development, zoning, and the services required to accommodate growth.

The Plan delineates Policy by which Grand Forks Council and the public can evaluate development proposals to ensure manageable population and economic growth. The Plan forms the basis for land use bylaws and capital expenditures, and is to be consistent with the City’s waste management plans, public works programs and other capital expenditures of the City.

The Community Plan provides a great deal of respect for community values and goals. The Plan provides a community vision for Grand Forks that reflects values and priorities that have been articulated by Council and the general public. The Community Plan was prepared following extensive local consultation, including public surveys, public open house meetings, discussions with Council, focus groups and meetings.

SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY PLAN AMENDMENT PROCESS

Council may consider an application to amend the SCP, if the amendment is deemed to be in the public interest.

Sustainable Community Plan amendment applications must be made in writing, on the Zoning and/or Sustainable Community Plan Amendment Application form, describing the proposed change and providing the rationale for the application. The application shall include the legal description and location of the property, name and address of the owner of the property, and if the applicant is not the owner, a statement as to the applicant”s interest in the property. The application must be accompanied by the required fee.

SCP amendment applications are considered by Council in the form of a bylaw amending the Sustainable Community Plan Bylaw. If Council approves the SCP amendment application, the bylaw is given first and second reading. Before third reading a public hearing is held to notify all persons who believe that their interest in the property is affected by the proposed bylaw and provide them with an opportunity for input. After considering input from the public hearing, Council may proceed to third reading and final adoption of the bylaw.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment Process

[This information has been supplied for information purposes only.]

An application for rezoning is treated as an application to amend the City of Grand Forks Zoning Bylaw #1606.

Zoning Bylaw #1606

Rezoning (zoning amendment) applications must be made in writing, on the Zoning and/or Official Community Plan Amendment Application form, describing the proposed change and providing the rationale for the application. The application shall include the legal description and location of the property sought to be rezoned, name and address of the owner of the property, and if the applicant is not the owner, a statement as to the applicant’s interest in the property to be rezoned. The application must be accompanied by the required fee. The rezoning application may also require the Grand Forks Official Community Plan to be amended as well.

Rezoning applications are considered by Council in the form of a bylaw amending the Zoning Bylaw. If Council approves the rezoning application, the bylaw is given first and second reading. Before third reading a public hearing is held to notify surrounding property owners, and others, of the owner’s intention for the property. After considering input from the public hearing, Council may proceed to third reading and final adoption of the bylaw.

Council will not reconsider an application for amendment to the Zoning Bylaw which has been denied within the past 6 months, they may, however, review the application prior to this six-month period, if the Council deems that the original application has been substantially modified.