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Regional Growth Strategy

This page was last reviewed on February 18, 2014.

The Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) is a bylaw adopted by the Comox Valley Regional District Board to to help guide future growth in the Comox Valley.

Introduction (excerpt from the RGS)

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) was established in February 2008. The CVRD encompasses the Village of Cumberland, the Town of Comox and the City of Courtenay along with the electoral areas of Baynes Sound (A), Lazo North (B), and Puntledge-Black Creek (C) as shown on Map No. 1 Context Map. Within the region‟s boundaries there is a population of approximately 63,700 people. As of 2006, the majority of this population resided in the urban areas (36,000 or 65%), but there is also a growing population in the rural areas of Baynes Sound, Lazo North, and Puntledge-Black Creek (19,545 or 35%).

By 2030, it is estimated that the population in the Comox Valley will grow to 88,500 people. This growth comes with associated needs and impacts that require regional coordination on issues that cross local government boundaries. These regional issues include provision of a range of housing options, protecting and enhancing the health of the natural environment and ecological connections, supporting the local economy, developing an efficient multi-modal transportation network, providing regional services, ensuring food security, public health planning and addressing climate change. Part 3 of this plan sets out goals and strategies for addressing these issues. The purpose of the regional growth strategy (RGS) is to promote coordination among the municipalities and regional district on these issues that cross municipal boundaries and create clear, reliable links with the provincial ministries and agencies whose resources are needed to carry out projects and programs to help implement the RGS.

The Comox Valley RGS is part of a partnership between the CVRD, the City of Courtenay, the Town of Comox and the Village of Cumberland. The RGS is one of four regional strategies that have been created to help guide future growth. The other regional strategies are the Regional Water Supply Strategy, the Regional Sewer Strategy and the Sustainability Strategy – all of which informed the RGS. The other purpose of the RGS is to inform the provincial government of local priorities and objectives in order to allow for them to align their program delivery in support of these local priorities.

When the CVRD was created in 2008, the Province mandated the preparation of a regional growth strategy. The purpose of the RGS is to build consensus among local governments on future policies regarding land use activities and development over the next 20 years, as legislated by Part 25 of the Local Government Act. The RGS will provide a framework for future decision-making and land use with the aim of preserving the region‟s high quality of life. Specifically, the following key elements form the RGS as required by Provincial legislation:

  1. a vision statement on the future of the region over a 20 year time frame;
  2. population and employment projections for the region; and,
  3. actions to be taken in relation to specific issues: housing; ecosystems, natural areas, and parks; local economic development, transportation, infrastructure, food systems, public health and safety, and climate change.

The RGS is comprised of five parts with supporting maps. Parts one and two introduce the RGS process, context, and summarize the issues that the RGS policies address. Part three provides the eight RGS goals with associated policies and explanatory text. The explanatory text is provided to bring further clarity and intent to the policies and they form part of the regional growth strategy bylaw. Part four provides direction on managing growth through the specific regional land use designations associated with Map No. 5: Growth Management Map. Part five provides details on the implementation and monitoring process of the RGS. Each of the Parts to the RGS are linked and should be read together as a single comprehensive policy framework for managing growth throughout the Comox Valley. Most specifically, the growth management policies in Part 4 must be read together and understood within the context of the Part 3 policies that provide guidance on the eight main goals of the RGS and Part 5 policies that provide guidance on how to implement the RGS.

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