THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Land use planning balances the interests of individual property owners with the wider interests and objectives of the whole community. Good planning helps a community set goals for how it will grow and develop, and to work out ways of reaching those goals, while keeping important social, economic, and environmental concerns in mind.
A Development Plan is a by-law which outlines the long-term vision and goals of a community and is used to guide development within the Municipality. The Development Plan provides a framework for development policies and decisions. It is designed to achieve stated objectives for development and promote the optimum economic, social, environmental, and physical condition of the area.
The Manitoba Planning Act requires all municipalities to adopt a Development Plan. A Development Plan must:
- set out the plans and policies of the planning authority respecting its physical, social, environmental, and economic objectives;
- through maps and statements of objectives, direct sustainable land use and development in the planning area;
- set out measures for implementing the plan; and
- include such other matters the Minister or Council considers advisable.
THE ZONING BY-LAW
A Zoning By-Law is the companion document to the Development Plan – the Zoning By-Law is guided by and must generally conform to the Development Plan. The Zoning By-Law is the tool by which the Municipal Council will carry out the intent of the Development Plan for land use and development. Zoning works by regulating the use of land and the use and location of buildings and structures. This is done through specific regulations and standards, for matters ranging from permitted and conditional land uses within each zone, building setback requirements, lot area and width requirements, site coverage requirements, sign and fencing requirements, and much more.
The Planning Act requires every municipality in Manitoba to adopt a Zoning By-Law. A Zoning By-Law must:
- divide the municipality into zones;
- prescribe permitted and conditional uses for land and buildings in each zone; and
- set out the procedure for applying for and issuing development permits and other similar documents.
How does a Zoning By-Law differ from a Development Plan?
The Development Plan By-Law provides general planning direction and policy to guide development in line with a community’s goals. The Zoning By-Law is a tool used to implement and regulate development to ensure it is consistent with this direction and policy. Overall, development plans are more general than zoning by-laws, which are more specific.
DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND ZONING BY-LAW REVIEW
As the Development Plan and Zoning By-Law are the cornerstones for decision making related to land use and development in the Municipality, they must be kept current. Also, development plans need to be respectful of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and any requirements for consultation. A Development Plan and corresponding Zoning By-Law need to undergo a comprehensive review to ensure they meet the needs of the Municipality and reflect changing circumstances. The review should be done every five years.
The current Rossburn Development Plan was adopted in 2012. As the Municipality was amalgamated in 2015, there are currently two Zoning By-Laws – the Rural Municipality of Rossburn adopted in 1995 and the Town of Rossburn adopted in 1994. As our current Zoning By-Laws are outdated, Council has made the review a priority and thus have applied for and received approval in the summer of 2021 for a 50% grant from Manitoba Building Sustainable Communities for a comprehensive Development Plan and Zoning By-Law Review.