Municipalities are authorized to set policies governing the development of their communities by preparing and adopting:
- official community plans and district plans containing policies to guide land use and community development;
- zoning bylaws establishing permitted, prohibited or discretionary land uses, development standards and permit requirements; and
- subdivision bylaws.
These planning documents express community priorities and goals and allow developers, business owners and homeowners to make informed decisions about purchasing and developing property in the community. The SPI provide guidance to municipalities on a complex series of land use and development issues for municipalities, enabling them to facilitate the development of vibrant, safe, self-reliant and sustainable municipalities.
Provincial oversight to ensure consistency with the SPI occurs through the approval of new official community plans, district plans, zoning bylaws and subdivision bylaws. Subdivision approving authorities, including the province, are responsible for ensuring consistency with the SPI during the subdivision approval process.
Area of common planning interest to the province and municipalities are:
- agriculture and value-added agribusiness
- biodiversity and natural systems
- community health and well-being
- economic growth
- First Nations and Métis engagement
- heritage and culture
- inter-municipal co-operation
- mineral resource exploration and development
- public safety
- public works
- recreation and tourism
- residential development
- sand and gravel
- shore land and water bodies
- source water protection