Part 3: Glossary of terms in Key Policies on Managing Growth

This glossary provides definitions for terms used in the “Key Policies on Managing Growth on Gabriola Island” resource document. Available as a PDF download by clicking here.

1.  Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is commonly defined as adequate, suitable housing, typically costing less than 30% of household income.

Retrieved from: Islands Trust Affordable Housing Guide

2.  BC Energy Step Code

The BC Energy Step Code is an optional way for local governments to encourage or require a level of energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code. Builders may voluntarily use the BC Energy Step Code to meet the energy-efficiency requirements of the BC Building Code.

Retrieved from: https://energystepcode.ca 

3.  Build Out

Development of land to its full potential or theoretical capacity as permitted under current or proposed planning or zoning designations.

Retrieved from: CA-ILG.org

4.  Commercial

Commercial development can include the selling, storing or servicing of goods and commodities. For more information on commercial zones on Gabriola, see “zoning”.

Retrieved from: Government of BC Website

5.  Density Bank

According to Gabriola’s Official Community Plan, density banking refers to a process wherein unused residential densities are held by the Local Trust Committee for an unlimited time and for the purpose of enabling affordable multi-dwelling housing for low-income families and without any net increase to the allowed density on Gabriola Island. The deposit of one or more densities to the density bank takes place through bylaw amendments resulting from the rezoning of the property from which the density was removed for deposit into the density bank. Withdrawal of one or more densities from the density bank requires a similar amending bylaw and rezoning process.

For more information see Section 2.5 of the Gabriola Official Community Plan

6.  First Nations

British Columbia is home to 198 First Nations, about one third of all First Nations in Canada. The First Nations of BC have rich and varied cultures, histories and traditions.

Retrieved from: https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/

Gabriola is in Snuneymuxw Nation territory, who are Coast Salish people. For more information: https://www.snuneymuxw.ca/

7.  Food Security

The state of having reliable access to enough healthy food that you can afford

Retrieved: https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

8.  Gabriola Official Community Plan (Gabriola Island Official Community Plan, 1997)

The Official Community Plan was adopted in 1997 and has had some amendments over the years. It offers a vision of the future community on Gabriola. The Plan sets out the community’s goals, objectives and policies regarding land-use, future development as well as social and environmental considerations applicable in the planning area. The purpose of the Plan is to provide direction to government agencies, businesses, land owners and residents concerning future land use and the provision of services.

9.  Gabriola Planning Area

The Gabriola Planning Area includes Gabriola Island and surrounding islands such as DeCourcy Island, Mudge Island, and additional smaller islands.

To see the full list of associated islands. For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/gabriola/

10. Groundwater

Groundwater is the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock. It is stored in and moves slowly through geologic formations of soil, sand and rocks called aquifers.

Retrieved from: https://www.groundwater.org/ 

11. Housing Agreements

A housing agreement is a legal contract entered into by the property owner and the Local Trust Committee to ensure affordable housing. In the agreement the owner, usually an organization or society, agrees to specific terms such as rental or leasehold rates, allowable amounts for rate increases, or the amount for which a unit may be sold. Housing agreements can also stipulate tenant or owner eligibility based on income or other criteria. These terms can vary between different agreements.

Retrieved from: Islands Trust Housing Agreements Committee

12. Home-Based Business

A home-based business is a commercial use in a residential property on a lot. Adapted from: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/348834/bl-355_lub_2019-06.pdf

13. Islands Trust’s Coastal Douglas-fir Ecosystem Protection Toolkit

The Islands Trust’s “Protecting the Coastal Douglas-Fir Zone” toolkit (2018) describes the Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) zone and its threats, and explores the various regulatory tools that Local Trust Committees can use to preserve and protect the zone.

For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/346674/cdf-toolkit-final-web.pdf

14. Land Use Bylaws (LUBs)

Land Use Bylaws contain all the rules and regulations that govern the use and allowable density of the land, as well as setbacks of buildings to property lines, height restrictions, parking requirements, signage restrictions, drainage restrictions and subdivision servicing. Land Use Bylaws are adopted and administered by each Island’s Local Trust Committee.

For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/land-use-planning/  

15. Local Food System

A food system is a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption, and when it is localized this refers to these activities happening within a local community.

Retrieved from: https://www.futureoffood.ox.ac.uk/what-food-system

16. Local Trust Committee / Islands Trust

Gabriola and the other Gulf Islands that are under the jurisdiction of the Islands Trust each have a Local Trust Committee (LTC). These LTCs are made up of people elected by local residents. They are responsible for land use planning and regulation for their respective area of jurisdiction.

LTCs are required to prepare and adopt Official Community Plans, Land Use Bylaws, and zoning and subdivision bylaws, regulate soil removal and deposit, and authorize permits under Part 14 of the Local Government Act.

Two local trustees are elected for each group of islands designated as a local trust area or island municipality. The two local trustees, together with an appointed chair from the Executive Committee, form the Local Trust Committee, or LTC.

Islands Trust

The Islands Trust is responsible for leading the preservation and protection of the Trust Area. The Islands Trust cooperates with municipalities, regional districts, improvement districts, other persons and organizations and the government of British Columbia.

The Islands Trust Policy Statement sets out three main goals:

  • Foster the preservation and protection of the Trust Area’s ecosystems
  • Ensure that human activity and the scale, rate and type of development in the Trust Area are compatible with maintenance of the integrity of Trust Area ecosystems
  • Sustain island character and healthy communities.

For more information on Local Trust Committees: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/

For more information on Gabriola’s Local Trust Committee: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/gabriola/

For more information on the Islands Trust Policy Statement: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/trust-council/governance/policy-statement/

17. Market Housing

Housing that is privately owned by an individual (or a company) who generally does not receive direct subsidies to purchase or maintain it. Prices are set by the private market. About 95% of households in the province live in market housing, either rental market housing or home ownership. 

Retrieved from: Government of BC Housing Tenancy

18. Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health has overall responsibility for ensuring that quality, appropriate, cost effective and timely health services are available for all British Columbians.

Retrieved from: Government of BC Ministries

19. Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rainwater for use, rather than having it run off into the ground. Typically, this means using a variety of technologies including a guttering system on the roof, piping, cistern(s), fittings, pumps and other plumbing requirements. In the BC Building Code, this is defined as a type of private water supply system.

Retrieved and adapted from: Islands Trust Conservancy

Regional District of Nanaimo Rainwater Harvesting Best Practices Guidebook

20. (Residential) Rental Tenure Housing

In July 2018, the Province enacted a new authority that empowers local governments to apply residential rental tenure zoning to protect rental units in existing and future apartment buildings, to increase the overall supply of rental housing in their communities. It can be applied to an area, a building, or units within a building which have a residential use. It does not apply to commercial buildings/ units. The zoning restricts the form of tenure (i.e. occupancy of the unit) to rental only.

Retrieved from: https://www.newwestcity.ca/housing/renovictions-tenant-protection-and-resources/sb_expander_articles/1563.php

21. Residential

There are different zoned areas within the Islands Trust for different uses of land. Those zoned residential are for dwellings meant for residing in, as opposed to commercial uses for instance. For more information see “zoning”.

22. Residential Density

Residential density refers to the average number of people living on any given area of land. High residential density is often the result of the construction of multi-family dwellings such as apartment or condo buildings. Rural areas like Gabriola are often characterized by low residential density. 

23. Subdivision

Legally any proposed changes to a lot line are a form of subdivision regardless if additional lots are created. While most subdivisions need to go through an approval process some types of subdivision can be done by the Registrar at the Land Title and Survey Authority, such as the consolidation of adjacent lots.

Retrieved from: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/274863/subdivision-faqs.pdf

24. Universal Access Design Principles

Universal design creates housing that can work for everyone. It makes housing accessible to those with disabilities. It also lets people stay in their homes as their circumstances change, without expensive renovations.

Retrieved from: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/developing-and-renovating/accessible-adaptable-housing/universal-design-in-new-housing

25. Zoning

Zoning bylaws regulate how land, buildings, and other structures may be used.

Different areas of land on Gabriola are designated as different zones – such as residential, resource, recreational and institutional, or commercial and light industrial zones (Gabriola Island Land Use Bylaw, 1999, p. 42). These can be seen on the Gabriola zoning maps:

For more information about zoning bylaws:  https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/local-governments/planning-land-use-regulation/zoning-bylaws

For the Gabriola Land Use Bylaw: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/342215/blgb177-lub-consolidated-february-7-2017.pdf


Part 2: Glossary of Key terms in Policies respecting Biodiversity & Freshwater Conservation

This glossary provides definitions for terms used in the “Key Policies on Biodiversity and Freshwater Conservation for Gabriola Island” resource document (available as a PDF download by clicking here).

Aquifer: An underground formation of permeable rock or loose material which can produce useful quantities of water when tapped by a well. Aquifers come in all sizes and their origin and composition is varied. They may be small, only a few hectares in area, or very large, underlying thousands of square kilometres of the earth’s surface. They may be only a few metres thick, or they may measure hundreds of metres from top to bottom.

Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/water-overview/sources/groundwater.html#sub1

Biodiversity: Biodiversity is the range of variation found among microorganisms, plants, fungi, and animals, and the richness of species of living organisms. Usually three levels of biodiversity are discussed—genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity.

  • Genetic diversity is all the different genes contained in all individual plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms. It occurs within a species as well as between species.
  • Species diversity is all the differences within and between populations of species, as well as between different species.
  • Ecosystem diversity is all the different habitats, biological communities, and ecological processes, as well as variation within individual ecosystems.

Adapted from: ESA.ORG

Biogeoclimatic zone: A biogeoclimatic zone is a geographical area with a relatively uniform macroclimate, characterized by a mosaic of vegetation, soils and, to a lesser extent, animal life reflecting that climate.

Retrieved from: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/biogeoclimatic-zone

Bioregion: A bioregion is a geographic region whose limits are naturally defined by topographic and biological features (such as mountain ranges and ecosystems).

Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bioregion

Carbon Sequestration: Carbon dioxide is the most commonly produced greenhouse gas. Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of reducing global climate change. Definition retrieved from: USGS

Islands Trust Area forests sequesters 190,506 tonnes of carbon per year, which equates to emissions from 40,240 passenger vehicles per year. If forests in the region are maintained, the Islands Trust Area has the capacity to be a major sink for carbon produced in the region. More information here.

Climate Change: Climate change is a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns. Often climate change refers specifically to the rise in global temperatures from the mid-20th century to present. Definition retrieved from: National Geographic.

Within the Islands Trust Area, climate change is having noticeable impacts, including:

  • More extreme winter and summer temperatures;
  • More extreme dry spells that result in drought and watershed concerns;
  • Warmer ocean temperatures which can result in species migration changes, and shellfish safety warnings;
  • More extreme weather events that result in flooding, wind damage, and erosion; and
  • Sea level rise that may result in erosion and damage to archaeological sites and structures.

Retrieved from: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/trust-council/projects/climate-change

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation:

Climate change mitigation means avoiding and reducing emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to prevent the planet from warming to more extreme temperatures.

Climate change adaptation means altering our behavior, systems, and—in some cases—ways of life to protect our families, our economies, and the environment in which we live from the impacts of climate change. The more we reduce emissions right now, the easier it will be to adapt to the changes we can no longer avoid. Retrieved from: WWF.org

Community Water System: A system of waterworks which serves five connections or more and which is owned, operated and maintained by an improvement district under the Water Act or the Local Government Act, or a Regional District, or which is regulated under the Public Utilities Act or Health Act. An example of a community water system could be one well providing potable water to several dwellings.

Adapted from definitions in the OCP.

Contiguous: Being in actual contact: touching along a boundary or at a point.

Density Bonus: Density bonusing is a practice through which local governments offer developers additional residential density (or development rights) in return for providing affordable housing.

Retrieved and modified from: http://inclusionaryhousing.ca/2016/04/26/density-bonusing

The Islands Trust can award density bonuses for the provision of affordable housing (or other community amenities). Local governments in BC, including the Trust, have been granted legislative authority for this task.

A very low cost alternative [for the provision of affordable housing], this option could be implemented by Local Trust Committees on a case by case basis. It also serves to provide developers with additional revenue through increased density, thus providing its own incentive and not requiring additional tax breaks. Its one major drawback, however, is the localized nature of the resulting increase in density.

Retrieved and modified from Islands Trust Affordable Housing Crisis document.

Development Permit: British Columbia’s Local Government Act enables communities to designate parts of their planning area as Development Permit Areas so they can set objectives and guidelines for development within those areas. No building construction, demolition, land alteration, or subdivision of land may occur in a Development Permit Area without a Development Permit.

Link to the Islands Trust DPA Application Guide. Information about Development Permit Areas on Gabriola and how they work is here: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/218578/gbdpafactsheetfeb2012.pdf 

Information about Development Permit Areas and how they can be used for environmental protection is here: https://www.toolkit.bc.ca/dpa

Easement: The right to cross or use someone’s land for a particular purpose.

Environmental Covenant (Conservation Covenant): A conservation covenant is an agreement entered into between a landowner and a covenant holder, the purpose of which is to conserve certain lands and/or buildings in their current state in perpetuity for environmental or historic reasons. Retrieved from: https://galtt.ca/covenant.html

Environmental Impact Assessment: An environmental assessment is a process to identify, predict and evaluate the potential environmental effects of a proposed development project. This process happens before decisions about a proposed project are made. Link for more information.

Environmentally Sensitive Areas:: Environmentally sensitive areas include marine foreshores, lakes, watercourses, wetlands and a variety of woodland ecosystems. These areas are noted for their high biotic capability for flora and fauna and are particularly vulnerable to indiscriminate forms of development.

Retrieved from: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/350052/blgb166-ocp-consolidated-sept-2-2019.pdf (see page 43)

Erosion and Sediment Control

Erosion control is a practice whereby specific steps are taken to minimize the potential for soil or rock to be moved from one location to another, and especially into bodies of water where aquatic ecosystems can be negatively impacted. 

Sediment control is the process whereby steps are taken to minimize the potential for eroded soil being moved and/or deposited beyond the limits of a construction site.

For more information: http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/Content/docType372/Production/7ErosSediCntrlMthds.pdf

Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erosion_control

Food Resilience: A resilient food system is able to withstand and recover from disruptions in a way that ensures a sufficient supply of acceptable and accessible food for all. Definition retrieved from: CLF.

Gabriola Official Community Plan (Gabriola Island Official Community Plan, 1997)

The Official Community Plan was adopted in 1997 and has had some amendments over the years. It offers a vision of the future community on Gabriola. The Plan sets out the community’s goals, objectives and policies regarding land-use, future development as well as social and environmental considerations applicable in the planning area. The purpose of the Plan is to provide direction to government agencies, businesses, land owners and residents concerning future land use and the provision of services.

The Gabriola OCP can be downloaded here.

Gabriola Planning Area

The Gabriola Planning Area includes Gabriola Island and surrounding islands such as DeCourcy Island, Mudge Island, and additional smaller islands.

To see the full list of associated islands: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/gabriola/associated-islands/

For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/gabriola/

Globally Imperiled

There are global ranks of conservation status. One of those ranks is “imperiled” which means at high risk of extinction or elimination due to restricted range, few populations or occurrences, steep declines, severe threats, or other factors.

For more information: https://help.natureserve.org/biotics/content/record_management/Element_Files/Element_Tracking/ETRACK_Definitions_of_Heritage_Conservation_Status_Ranks.htm#:~:text=Global%20(G)%20Conservation%20Status%20Ranks,-RANK&text=Presumed%20Extinct%20(species)%20%E2%80%94%20Not,virtually%20no%20likelihood%20of%20rediscovery.&text=Imperiled%20%E2%80%94%20At%20high%20risk%20of,severe%20threats%2C%20or%20other%20factors

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gases warm the earth but because they trap infrared light radiated from the Earth’s surface in the atmosphere, they prevent heat from escaping into space. We need greenhouse gases to keep the earth warm enough to live. However, activities like burning fossil fuels produce excess greenhouse gases that warm the earth too much. This is leading to climate change. Greenhouse gases are: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.

For more information: https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/greenhouse-gases  

Groundwater

Groundwater is the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock. It is stored in and moves slowly through geologic formations of soil, sand and rocks called aquifers.

Retrieved from: https://www.groundwater.org/get-informed/basics/groundwater.html

Gulf Islands Groundwater Protection Toolkit

The Islands Trust’s “Gulf Islands Groundwater Protection” toolkit (2014) reviews the types of aquifers that Gulf Islands residents rely on, identifies development pressures as a concern, and reviews the information available to understand groundwater issues.

The Toolkit also enumerates the variety of regulatory tools that Local Trust Committees can use to protect groundwater resources, such as policy and regulatory changes that can be made to Official Community Plans (OCPs) and Land Use Planning Bylaws, including the establishment of development permit areas, the creation of subdivision servicing bylaws, and bylaw enforcement.

For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/259555/groundwater-toolkit.pdf.

Habitat

A habitat is a place where an organism makes its home. A habitat meets all the environmental conditions an organism needs to survive.

Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/habitat/

Hydrology

A science dealing with the properties, distribution, and circulation of water on and below the earth’s surface and in the atmosphere.

Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydrology

Impervious

If something is impervious it means it does not allow penetration, for instance by water, light, or gas.

Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/impervious

Islands Trust’s Coastal Douglas-fir Ecosystem Protection Toolkit

The Islands Trust’s “Protecting the Coastal Douglas-Fir Zone” toolkit (2018) describes the CDF zone and its threats, and explores the various regulatory tools that Local Trust Committees can use to preserve and protect the zone.

For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/346674/cdf-toolkit-final-web.pdf.

Islands Trust Regional Conservation Plan

To protect and restore endangered species and ecosystems, the Conservancy has prepared a science-based Regional Conservation Plan that sets out our strategies for the next ten years.

The full Plan is available at: www.islandstrustconservancy.ca

Land Designations and Land Use Policies

See Zoning and Land Use Bylaws

Land Use Bylaws (LUBs)

Land Use Bylaws contain all the rules and regulations that govern the use and allowable density of the land, as well as setbacks of buildings to property lines, height restrictions, parking requirements, signage restrictions, drainage restrictions and subdivision servicing. Land Use Bylaws are adopted and administered by each Island’s Local Trust Committee.

For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/land-use-planning/  

Local Trust Committee / Islands Trust

Gabriola and the other Gulf Islands that are under the jurisdiction of the Islands Trust each have a Local Trust Committee (LTC). These LTCs are made up of people elected by local residents. They are responsible for land use planning and regulation for their respective area of jurisdiction.

LTCs are required to prepare and adopt Official Community Plans, Land Use Bylaws, and zoning and subdivision bylaws, regulate soil removal and deposit, and authorize permits under Part 14 of the Local Government Act.

Two local trustees are elected for each group of islands designated as a local trust area or island municipality. The two local trustees, together with an appointed chair from the Executive Committee, form the Local Trust Committee, or LTC.

The Islands Trust is responsible for leading the preservation and protection of the Trust Area. The Islands Trust cooperates with municipalities, regional districts, improvement districts, other persons and organizations and the government of British Columbia.

The Islands Trust Policy Statement sets out three main goals:

  • Foster the preservation and protection of the Trust Area’s ecosystems
  • Ensure that human activity and the scale, rate and type of development in the Trust Area are compatible with maintenance of the integrity of Trust Area ecosystems
  • Sustain island character and healthy communities.

For more information on Local Trust Committees: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/

For more information on Gabriola’s Local Trust Committee: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/gabriola/

For more information on the Islands Trust Policy Statement: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/trust-council/governance/policy-statement/

Marine Protection Zone

In a Marine Protection Zone in the Gabriola Land Use Bylaw, no buildings or structures are permitted and the residential use of a watercraft of any kind, whether temporary or permanent, is prohibited.

Retrieved from: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/347223/bylaw-no-127_lub_consolidated_feb-7-19.pdf

Potable Water

Water that is potable is safe to drink and fit for domestic purposes without further treatment, as defined by the British Columbia Drinking Water Protection Act.

Retrieved from: http://www.islandstrustconservancy.ca/media/39066/guide_for_regulating_rainwater_harvesting_systems.pdf

Setback Area

A setback is the horizontal distance that a building or structure must be sited from a specified lot line, building, structure or other permanent landscape feature or point (such as a high-water mark or steep slope). The setback area may be established for several purposes including establishing fire separation between buildings, privacy, screening or to establish an ecologically protected area where no land alterations or construction should occur. This area can also be referred to as a ‘buffer area’, or ‘enhancement area’ if ecological protection or restoration works are required.

Adapted from Gabriola Land Use Bylaw definitions: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/347100/gb_bl177_lub_base_a_cons_2018_11_04.pdf

Provincially Identified Species at Risk

At the provincial level, there are different species identified as at risk of disappearing, or becoming extinct, in British Columbia.

For more information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/conservation-data-centre/explore-cdc-data/species-and-ecosystems-explorer

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rainwater for use, rather than having it run off into the ground. Typically, this means using a variety of technologies including a guttering system on the roof, piping, cistern(s), fittings, pumps and other plumbing requirements. In the BC Building Code, this is defined as a type of private water supply system.

Retrieved and adapted from: http://www.islandstrustconservancy.ca/media/39066/guide_for_regulating_rainwater_harvesting_systems.pdf

Regional District of Nanaimo Rainwater Harvesting Best Practices Guidebook: https://rdn.bc.ca/sites/default/files/legacy_asp/events/attachments/evID6235evattID1344.pdf

Recharge Areas

An area where water flows into the Earth to resupply a water body or an aquifer.

Retrieved from: https://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/E1327343-09F0-03FF-AA9032F47AD1EB9C/aquifers_recharge.pdf

Recharge Capability

Ground water recharge includes recharge as a natural part of the hydrologic cycle and human-induced recharge, either directly through spreading basins or injection wells, or as a consequence of human activities such as irrigation and waste disposal.

Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/groundwater-recharge

Renewable Natural Resources

Renewable natural resources are natural resources that, after exploitation, can return to their previous stock levels by natural processes of growth or replenishment

Retrieved from: https://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=2290#:~:text=Renewable%20natural%20resources%20are%20natural,which%20regeneration%20will%20become%20impossible.

Rezoning

Rezoning property requires an application to change or amend a land use bylaw and, in some cases, the official community plan. An amendment to either of these bylaws must be consistent with the Islands Trust Policy Statement, which includes direction and advice for local trust committees when amending official community plans and land use bylaws.

For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/348078/06rzapplicationguide.pdf

Riparian Areas Regulation

Riparian areas link water to land. They border streams, lakes, and wetlands. The blend of streambed, water, trees, shrubs and grasses in a riparian area provides fish habitat, and directly influences it. There is regulation in place to protect riparian areas.

For more information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/fish/aquatic-habitat-management/riparian-areas-regulation


Part 1: Glossary on Key terms in Policies Governing Housing

This glossary provides definitions for terms used in the Gabriola Official Community Plan (OCP) Policies Governing Housing resource document (available as a PDF download CLICK HERE)

1.    Attached Dwelling

An attached dwelling is one that is attached onto the main dwelling or building in some way – for example, a separate suite that shares a wall with a single-family dwelling.


2.    BC Building Code

The BC Building Code (BCBC) is a provincial regulation that governs how new construction, building alterations, repairs and demolitions are completed. This code establishes minimum requirements for safety, health, accessibility, fire and structural protection of buildings and energy and water efficiency.

Retrieved from: http://www.bccodes.ca/building-code.html


3.    BC Energy Step Code

The BC Energy Step Code is an optional way for local governments to encourage or require a level of energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code. Builders may voluntarily use the BC Energy Step Code to meet the energy-efficiency requirements of the BC Building Code.

Retrieved from: https://energystepcode.ca  


4.    Bylaws

Bylaws are the rules made by local governments (municipalities, regional districts, etc.) that regulate activities in their areas of jurisdiction. 

For more information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/local-governments/governance-powers/bylaws


5.    Canadian Standards Association (CSA) 

CSA is an organization that offers expert testing, inspection, and certification services that allow manufacturers to show that their products comply with applicable safety, environmental, and operating performance standards for markets around the world. In this context, they maintain the standard for manufactured homes, modular/pre-fabricated homes, and recreational vehicles.

For more information: https://www.csagroup.org/about-csa-group/


6.    Commercial Zone   

Zoning bylaws regulate how land, buildings, and other structures may be used.

Different areas of land on Gabriola are designated as different zones – such as residential, resource, recreational and institutional, or commercial and light industrial zones (Gabriola Island Land Use Bylaw, 1999, p. 42). These can be seen on the Gabriola zoning maps. Commercial areas are designed for more business purposes than residential; for instance, the Village commercial zones in the downtown core.

Gabriola’s zoning maps: 

For more information about zoning bylaws: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/local-governments/planning-land-use-regulation/zoning-bylaws

For the Gabriola Land Use Bylaw: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/342215/blgb177-lub-consolidated-february-7-2017.pdf


7.    Density Bank

According to Gabriola’s OCP, density banking refers to a process wherein unused residential densities are held by the Local Trust Committee for an unlimited time and for the purpose of enabling affordable multi-dwelling housing for low-income families and without any net increase to the allowed density on Gabriola Island. The deposit of one or more densities to the density bank takes place through bylaw amendments resulting from the rezoning of the property from which the density was removed for deposit into the density bank. Withdrawal of one or more densities from the density bank requires a similar amending bylaw and rezoning process.

For more information see Section 2.5 of the Gabriola Official Community Plan: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/344745/blgb166-ocp-consolidated-november-2-2017.pdf


8.    Detached Dwelling

A detached dwelling is one that is a separate, stand-alone building from the main dwelling or building – for example, a separate small cottage on a property with another, main house. 


9.    Funders

Funding of affordable housing developments can come from a variety of sources both public (government) and private. A key public funder in B.C. for affordable housing projects is B.C. Housing, which is a government mandated body that develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across the province.

For more information: https://www.bchousing.org/about/our-organization


10. Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gases warm the earth but because they’re trapped in the atmosphere they prevent the warmth from escaping into space.  We need greenhouse gases to keep the earth warm enough to live. However, activities like burning fossil fuels produce excess greenhouse gases that warm the earth too much. This is leading to climate change. 

Greenhouse gases are: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.

For more information: https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/greenhouse-gases/


11.  Land Use Bylaws (LUBs)

Land Use Bylaws contain all the rules and regulations that govern the use and allowable density of the land, as well as setbacks of buildings to property lines, height restrictions, parking requirements, signage restrictions, drainage restrictions and subdivision servicing.

Land Use Bylaws are adopted and administered by each Island’s Local Trust Committee.

For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/land-use-planning/


12. Local Governments

Local governments – municipalities and regional government bodies – provide local residents with essential services like clean water, sewer systems, parks and recreation, and fire protection. Local governments also plan and shape their communities, and exercise their vision through the adoption of bylaws. Local governments often work closely with higher levels of government such as the provincial and federal governments. Their focus, however, is on their local geographic areas and local issues.

For Gabriola, our local governments are the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) and the Islands Trust. 

For more information about local governments in BC: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/local-governments

See Regional District of Nanaimo and Local Trust Committee / Islands Trust definitions below for more information. 


13. Local Trust Committee / Islands Trust

Gabriola and the other Gulf Islands that are under the jurisdiction of the Islands Trust each have a Local Trust Committee (LTC). These LTCs are made up of people elected by local residents. They are responsible for land use planning and regulation for their respective area of jurisdiction. 

LTCs are required to prepare and adopt Official Community Plans, Land Use Bylaws, and zoning and subdivision bylaws, regulate soil removal and deposit, and authorize permits under Part 14 of the Local Government Act.

Two local trustees are elected for each group of islands designated as a local trust area or island municipality. The two local trustees, together with an appointed chair from the Executive Committee, form the Local Trust Committee, or LTC.

The Islands Trust is responsible for leading the preservation and protection of the Trust Area. The Islands Trust cooperates with municipalities, regional districts, improvement districts, other persons and organizations and the government of British Columbia. 

The Islands Trust Policy Statement sets out three main goals:

  • Foster the preservation and protection of the Trust Area’s ecosystems
  • Ensure that human activity and the scale, rate and type of development in the Trust Area are compatible with maintenance of the integrity of Trust Area ecosystems
  • Sustain island character and healthy communities.

For more information on Local Trust Committees: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/

For more information on Gabriola’s Local Trust Committee: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/local-trust-areas/gabriola/

For more information on the Islands Trust Policy Statement: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/trust-council/governance/policy-statement/


14. Market Conditions

Market conditions are the factors that influence the housing market in a particular area, such as cost of living, demographics, supply and demand, mortgage rates and more.

For more information: https://www.bankrate.com/glossary/m/market-conditions/#:~:text=Market%20conditions%20are%20the%20factors,demand%2C%20mortgage%20rates%20and%20more


15. Market Housing

Housing that is privately owned by an individual (or a company) who generally does not receive direct subsidies to purchase or maintain it. Prices are set by the private market. About 95% of households in the province live in market housing, either rental market housing or home ownership. 

Retrieved from: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/affordable-and-social-housing/housing-glossary


16.  Official Community Plans (OCPs)

Official Community Plans contain the broad goals and policies that help guide the preservation and development of an Island. Official Community Plans are developed with substantial input from the community, other government agencies and First Nations.

Official Community Plans are adopted and administered by each Island’s Local Trust Committee.

Retrieved from: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/islands/land-use-planning


Gabriola Official Community Plan  (Gabriola Island Official Community Plan, 1997)

The Official Community Plan was adopted in 1997 and has had some amendments over the years. It offers a vision of the future community on Gabriola. The Plan sets out the community’s goals, objectives and policies regarding land-use, future development as well as social and environmental considerations applicable in the planning area. The purpose of the Plan is to provide direction to government agencies, businesses, land owners and residents concerning future land use and the provision of services.

Retrieved from: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/344745/blgb166-ocp-consolidated-november-2-2017.pdf


17. Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN)

The Regional District of Nanaimo provides regional governance and services throughout Vancouver Island’s central east coast. Communities within the RDN include the municipalities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, and Qualicum Beach, as well as seven unincorporated Electoral Areas. Gabriola is within RDN Area B.

For more information: https://www.rdn.bc.ca/


18.  Residential Density

Residential density refers to the average number of people living on any given area of land. High residential density is often the result of the construction of multi-family dwellings such as apartment or condo buildings. Rural areas like Gabriola are often characterized by low residential density. 


19.  Secondary Suites

According to Gabriola’s OCP, a secondary suite is an up to 2-bedroom suite, either within a dwelling or an accessory building (maximum of 986 ft). 

One secondary suite is permitted on lots of two hectares (4.94 acres) or larger and only in the Small Rural Residential (SRR), Large Rural Residential (LRR), Forestry (F), Resource (R), Resource Residential (RR1), or Agriculture (AG) zones.

For more information: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/346026/gabriola-secondary-suites-final1.pdf  

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