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Local governments are responsible for ensuring a suitable supply of housing, in a range of types and locations, to meet community needs now and in the future. Communities accomplish this goal through the land use planning process by ensuring an adequate supply of suitably zoned land, through the regulatory process, and through servicing and other activities. An Official Community Plan (OCP) — a statement of objectives and policies — guides decisions on planning, land use management, and development. Since 1992, policies on affordable, rental and special needs housing must be included in official community plans in BC.

For Gabriola Island the following tools are currently used to address need and diversity:

  1. OCP Land Use Policies and design guidelines (1997)
  2. LUB Regulations pertaining to secondary suites (updated 2018)

The following tools are available in BC but have not yet been used on Gabriola Island to address housing need and diversity:

  1. Updating OCP with Gabriola Housing Needs Assessment findings and possible recommendations (2018)
  2. Updating OCP with Affordable and Attainable Housing Policies relevant to current market conditions and housing projections for the region
  3. Rental Tenure Housing zoning (to protect rental housing from being converted to owned housing).
  4. Provision for mixed use affordable/market housing developments (not strictly just affordable/seniors/special needs)
  5. Flexible zoning that strictly controls density, floor area of dwellings, water consumption and energy conservation, and how much of the lot is covered by buildings and structures (lot coverage).  Flexible zoning might be created to permit either one large single-family dwelling or two or three small dwellings on a lot built to BC Energy Step Code standard with strict controls on water conservations standards, how much of the lot can be developed or other parameters.