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Smart Bylaws Guide Overview

Many municipalities and developers in British Columbia are emerging as North American leaders in smart growth practices at the regional and local scale. Residents are demanding more choices in where they live and the quality of neighbourhoods and job opportunities. Bounded by ocean, mountains, rivers and working lands, communities are also being forced to use land more efficiently to stop urban sprawl, revitalize commercial centres, and maintain a working land base.

In recognition of this leadership role, West Coast Environmental Law has developed this Smart Bylaws Guide to assist local governments to implement smart growth strategies through policy and bylaw changes. It describes smart growth practices, and backs up the theory with case studies, technical standards and bylaws that can be tailored to specific municipal circumstances. The Guide brings together the best practices of municipalities across BC, and highlights other innovators in the US.

The Smart Bylaws Guide is composed of nine interconnected tools:

  1. Publications: Case for Smart Growth, Smart Bylaws Summary, and Protecting the Working Landscape of Agriculture: A Smart Growth Direction for Municipalities in BC are our three core Smart Growth publications. 
  2. Web pages, accessed from an overview of smart growth principles, discuss each smart growth tool in more depth and provide examples of case studies.
  3. Case studies document development projects that exhibit a number of smart growth features, including bylaws and contact information.
  4. Bylaws and policies accompany each smart growth strategy. Bylaws and policies can be accessed directly from this home page, or can be viewed as the linked technical support for case studies and smart growth strategies.
  5. Checklists enable staff, council members and citizens to evaluate projects and municipal programs.
  6. Resources provide links to further online information.
  7. The Glossary explains terms associated with smart growth, and defines acronyms.

Don't know where to begin? Click on the Smart Bylaws Summary publication or Web pages to navigate the site by topic area or strategy. Click on the detailed Table of Contents or Table of Bylaws if you have a specific topic or technical requirement.