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Central Coast
Regional District

Land Use

Land use planning provides for the orderly development of properties within the Central Coast Regional District. Long range planning includes the development of land use policies and regulations. The policies and vision for the communities are bylaws adopted as Official Community Plans (OCP).  Land use regulations are bylaws adopted as zoning bylaws.

The Central Coast Regional District currently has land use bylaws in place in the Bella Coola Valley, or Electoral Areas C, D and E. They include a zoning bylaw, the Official Community Plan, and a subdivision servicing bylaw. Another portion of the Regional District with land use regulations in place is on Calvert Island in Electoral Area A. The vast majority of Electoral Area A is unregulated.

Bella Coola Valley Official Community Plan (OCP)

The Bella Coola Valley Official Community Plan Bylaw sets the mid- to long-term vision for planned development in Electoral Areas C, D and E, from the Bella Coola town site in the west to Stuie in the east. The Plan provides a degree of certainty about the location and nature of community change to residents and landowners as well as serving as a guide for local government elected officials when they make decisions regarding development and zoning, and provides the required services to accommodate growth. A Community Plan can provide communities with the certainty that they need in order to remain stable living environments. The policies are intended to reflect a broad consensus of opinion melded into a framework for future development and a strategy for managing future growth.

The “Bella Coola Official Community Plan Designation Bylaw No. 302, 1998” was approved by the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs, Recreation and Housing in September 1999. It is common to update the Official Community Plan every 5-10 years. The OCP may also be amended, by bylaw adopted by the board, upon receipt of a written application from a
proponent. These amendments generally require public hearings with public notice served through newspaper advertising.

The OCP applies to lands in the valley outside of the Provincial Forest and does not apply to lands located within any Indian Reserve controlled by the Nuxalk Nation.

The fundamental thrust of the vision for the Bella Coola Valley is to maintain the rural character of the area while at the same time accommodating new growth that is respectful of the land´s environmental sensitivity and the valley´s natural hazards. Development proposals or senior government initiatives that do not fit in with this vision are not
considered appropriate for the valley.

The key features of the vision are intended to be broad statements of intent, their purpose being to set the tone for the policy framework:
  1. Protect the natural setting;
  2. Respect the natural hazards;
  3. Promote jobs and the economy; and
  4. Deliver services in a cost efficient manner.

Zoning

The Bella Coola Valley Zoning Bylaw 71, adopted in 1984,lays out the regulations for various land uses within Electoral Areas C, D and E in the Bella Coola Valley. The Calvert Island Zoning Bylaw, adopted in 1993 specifies the regulations in effect on properties located on Calvert Island, southwest of Bella Bella. The majority of property located in Electoral Area A is unregulated in terms of local bylaws.

The general provisions of the Bella Coola Valley Zoning Bylaw state that land shall not be used and buildings and structures shall not be constructed, altered, located, moved, occupied or used contrary to the bylaw.

The zoning districts include agricultural, large holdings, small holdings, urban residential, two family residential, mobile home park residential, multiple family residential, general commercial, local commercial, heavy industrial, light industrial, and public and assembly.

The zoning regulations also cite the height and siting of buildings and structures, setback requirements, permitted uses, visibility requirements, home occupation requirements, and siting requirements for flood control purposes. Parking and loading provisions are also stipulated. Three of the more common zones are shown below. For a complete listing of all zones and relevant requirements, consult the zoning bylaw or contact the Central Coast Regional District administration office.

A-1 Agricultural District
Uses PermittedLot AreaSiting of BuildingsHeight of BuildingsBuildings per Lot
  • Agricultural
  • Forestry
  • Silviculture
  • Residential camp
  • Campground
  • Single family dwelling
  • Two family dwelling
  • Home occupation
  • Accessory buildings & uses
Not less than 2 hectares No structures less than 7 metres from a front or rear lot line, or 5 metres from a side lot line Not to exceed 9 metres Not more than one residential use building shall be erected on one lot, except for lots with an area of 4 hectares or more where a maximum of two dwelling units is permitted.

R-1 Large Holdings District
Uses PermittedLot AreaSiting of BuildingsHeight of BuildingsBuildings per Lot
  • Agricultural
  • Forestry
  • Silviculture
  • Residential camp
  • Campground use
  • Single family dwelling
  • Home occupation
  • Accessory buildings and uses
Not less than 8,000 square metres No structures less than 7 metres from a front or rear lot line, or 5 metres from a side lot line Not to exceed 9 metres Not more than one dwelling unit shall be erected on one lot, except for lots with an area of 4 hectares or more where a maximum of two dwelling units is permitted.

C-1 General Commercial District
Uses PermittedLot AreaSiting of BuildingsHeight of BuildingsLot Coverage
  • Commercial
  • Assembly
  • Entertainment
  • Traveller accommodation
  • Dwelling Units located within a commercial building
  • Accessory residential use
  • Accessory buildings and uses
Not less than 2,000 square metres No structures less than 3 metres from a front or rear lot line, or 2 metres from a side lot line, or 4.5 metres where the side lot line flanks a street, and no side lot line setback is required where abutting property is zoned commercial Not to exceed 11 metres The maximum lot coverage shall be 60% of the lot area

Application to amend or re-zone a property. Parties may also be interested in consulting planning policies P-1, P-2 and P-3 for additional or procedural information.

Subdivision Servicing and Control

Subdivisions in Electoral Areas C,D and E are governed by the Bella Coola Valley Subdivision Control Bylaw No.72 which was adopted in 1984. The authority for subdivision approval rests with the District Manager, Ministry of Transportation.

The approving officer may refuse to approve any subdivision of any parcel of land unless all the requirements of the subdivision bylaw and other applicable regulations have been observed. He or she may also refuse to approve a subdivision if any existing use on that particular parcel is non-conforming in respect to any other bylaw.

A subdivision means a division of land into two or more parcels, except that the words “subdivision plan” is also deemed to include a plan consolidating two or more parcels into a single parcel.

In any subdivision, the Central Coast Regional District stipulates that each parcel must be supplied with a sufficient supply of potable water by either being connected to a community water system, or by having proof of availability of sufficient groundwater sources to service the lots being created. The Regional District may also require the owner of the land being
subdivided to provide, without compensation, land for public open space in locations and to the extend required by the approving officer for the purpose of providing sufficient open space within the proposed subdivision for park and public use.

Notwithstanding the other provisions of the subdivision bylaw, all lands within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), except those exempted, are subject to the provisions of the Agricultural Land Commission Act and regulations, thereby not permitting the subdivision of land and the development of new non-farm uses unless approved by the Agricultural Land
Commission.

For further information on subdivisions within the Bella Coola Valley, or to obtain the forms necessary for a submission to the approving officer or the Agricultural Land Commission, contact the Central Coast Regional District administration office.

House Numbering

At the request of community groups (the R.C.M.P., the Ambulance Service and valley Volunteer Fire Departments), the Central Coast Regional District enacted a bylaw to establish a house numbering service in Electoral Areas C, D and E, primarily to accommodate emergency situations. This service complements the house numbering which was already in place on federal Indian reserve lands.

Although each dwelling in the valley has been issued a house number, participation in terms of signage is voluntary at this point. All residents are urged to consider appropriate house identification numbers for their properties in order to assist emergency personnel.

All residents currently without house numbering signage may wish to contact the Central Coast Regional District office in order to obtain a number. When erected, it should be clearly visible from the street, road or highway.

Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC)

The Central Coast Regional District appointed an Agricultural Advisory Committee in 2007. The purpose of the Committee is to provide advice and recommendations to the Board of Directors on general matters related to agricultural issues in areas of the Regional District where lands are a) within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), b) zoned for agriculture, or c) have the potential for agricultural use.

The Agricultural Land Commission Act sets the legislative framework for the establishment and administration of the agricultural land preservation program.

The ALR takes precedence over, but does not replace, other legislation and bylaws that may apply to the land. Local governments are expected to plan in accordance with the provincial policy of preserving agricultural land. It is the responsibility of the local government under section 21 of the Act, to forward applications to the Commission.
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