BC Gives Local Government More Tools to Increase Housing

EIN 57 BC logo 400

November 5, 2021

People in B.C. communities will benefit from legislative amendments that give local governments more powers to simplify and speed up their development approvals processes, helping to get the homes people need built faster.

“We are working with local governments, the development sector and housing advocates to streamline local development processes to help get more homes built faster for people,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “By updating public hearing and certain permit requirements, we are giving local governments more tools to deliver the housing that communities need throughout B.C. This is one important step in the work all orders of government must do to meet housing needs for people in our communities.”

Increasing housing supply is a priority for the Province and these amendments are an important step in that ongoing effort. The amendments will update the Local Government Act to:

  • remove the default requirement for local governments to hold public hearings for zoning bylaw amendments that are consistent with the official community plan; and
  • enable local governments to delegate decisions on minor development variance permits to staff.

These changes will support local governments to move forward more efficiently on developments, bypassing barriers and speeding up housing approvals. They were identified during consultation with local governments, housing providers and builders, and other stakeholders as part of the Province’s Development Approvals Process Review. These changes will also build on the work of the Local Government Development Approvals Program that is providing $15 million to help local governments create more efficient approvals processes.  

“B.C. local governments have been seeking improvements to streamline development approval processes,” said Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, president, Union of BC Municipalities. “These amendments to the current legislation provide new options that align with recommendations in UBCM’s housing strategy, maintain local government flexibility, and will be welcomed by many UBCM members. We will continue to work with the government to seek further improvements to the development approval process.”

To ensure transparency, the proposed amendment for public hearings requires local governments to provide public notice of the rezoning bylaw before the bylaw is considered at first reading by a municipal council or regional district board.

The proposed legislation also makes amendments to streamline the Islands Trust development approvals processes by enabling local trust committees to adopt and amend Development Approval Information bylaws. As well, the Province is proposing changes that will support the City of Powell River’s economic development objectives by removing city-owned lots from the designated mill site area to allow for further development of those lands and support community planning.

Related Articles


Latest Articles


Changing Scene

  • Electrozad Welcomes Jason McFarland as Windsor Branch Account Representative

    Electrozad Welcomes Jason McFarland as Windsor Branch Account Representative

    December 2, 2022 Jason McFarland joins Electrozad as an Account Representative at their #Windsor branch and will be a key point in developing relationships and accounts focused on Industrial Manufacturing/OEM’s. Jason studied advertising at St. Clair College and holds several Sales Certifications. He brings with him several years experience as a marketing coordinator and sales account manager. “My… Read More…

  • Southwire’s Latest Copper Rod Plant in Carrollton, Ga. Nears Completion, Production to Boost by Roughly 10% Annually

    Southwire’s Latest Copper Rod Plant in Carrollton, Ga. Nears Completion, Production to Boost by Roughly 10% Annually

    December 2, 2022 As part of more than a billion-dollar modernization commitment across its footprint, Southwire is nearing the completion of construction on a new, state-of-the art copper rod plant in Carrollton, Ga. The new plant replaces an aging, 40-year-old facility and will increase copper rod production by at least 10 percent annually. “Our goal… Read More…

  • Ontario Finalizes Electrification and Energy Transition Panel

    Ontario Finalizes Electrification and Energy Transition Panel

    December 2, 2022 Ontario is planning for the long-term reliability and affordability of the province’s clean energy supply by appointing the remaining members of the Electrification and Energy Transition Panel. Recently, the province appointed Dr. Monica Gattinger and Chief Emeritus Emily Whetung, former Chief of Curve Lake First Nation, to the Panel, where they join… Read More…

  • Skills Ontario’s Jennifer Green Win’s Apprenticeship Award

    Skills Ontario’s Jennifer Green Win’s Apprenticeship Award

    December 2, 2022 Skills Ontario is pleased to support the Colleges Ontario Premier’s Awards and congratulate Jennifer Green for winning the Apprenticeship Award at the annual Higher Education Summit in Toronto on Monday. There were 126 nominees in total across seven categories. As the only woman in her Industrial Mechanic Millwright program at Conestoga College,… Read More…