The rules and regulations to process an amendment can be found in the Planning Act, however below is a brief description of the process.
The purpose of a Development Plan is to provide legally adopted statements of the District’s policies toward land use management and development. Our District is comprised of four municipalities; RM of Gimli, Town of Arborg, Town of Winnipeg Beach and the newly amalgamated RM of Bifrost-Riverton.
A Development Plan establishes the guidelines for land use planning and development activities. It contains statements of the goals and objectives regarding land use and defines the policies by which land use compatibility and sustainability will be ensured.
Municipal Zoning By-Laws are adopted and ensure that provisions regarding permitted and conditional uses, development standards, permits, etc. are in conformity with the policies of the Development Plan.
Areas in the municipalities have a designation in the Development Plan that sets out the plan for development and land use. At times a property owner or municipality would like to change the designation to suit a desired development, for example, property that is designated Residential on a highway, changed to Commercial Highway; therefore, a Development Plan amendment is required.
Once the designation of the land has been changed, then the zoning by-law can be amended to change the zoning, to allow for certain uses. This is a 2 step process.
A Development Plan amendment application is done through EIPD. The by-law is given 1st reading by the Board of the EIPD. Then, before 2nd reading can be given, there must be a public hearing to receive representations from ratepayers who may object. Notice of the public hearing is advertised in the local paper per the Planning Act and if the amendment concerns a specific property the notice is mailed to property owners with a 100 meter radius of the property. If there are no objections to the by-law at the public hearing, the board can give 2nd reading. The by-law is then submitted to the Minister of Municipal Relations for approval. Once the Minister has approved the by-law, the Board may give 3rd reading and deemed adopted. There is no appeal once the by-law has been adopted. If objection is received at the hearing, the Board must give the objectors opportunity to appeal to the Minister of Municipal Relations.
A Zoning By-Law amendment can only be applied for if it is compatible with the Development Plan. For example, if a property owner wants to re-zone their property from Residential to Residential Multi Family, the area must be designated Residential in the Development Plan. If not, a Development Plan amendment is required first. If the designation is compatible, then a Zoning By-Law amendment can be applied for through the EIPD.
Once an application for a Zoning By-law amendment is received, the EIPD will prepare the by-law and submit it to Council for 1st reading. Then, before 2nd reading can be done, a public hearing must be held to receive representations (for or against the application) from ratepayers. Notice of the public hearing is advertised in the local paper and if the amendment concerns a specific property, notice is mailed to property owners within 100 meter radius of the property. If there are no objections at the hearing, Council can then give the by-law 2nd and 3rd reading and the amendment is deemed adopted.
If there are objections(1), Council can either decide not to proceed with the by-law or provide 2nd reading, at which time objectors will be given the opportunity to withdraw the objection or object further thus spearheading an appeal process. If there is no further objection by the allotted time frame, Council can give 3rd reading to the by-law. If there are further objections, the EIPD Board will give hold an appeal hearing on the by-law and provide notice as required by the Planning Act. The EIPD will either confirm the zoning by-law amendment (with or without changes) or refuse the amendment.
(1) Per the Planning Act, proceedings with regard to objections are valid only if objections are received from 25 voters, or if the amendment concerns a specific property then at least 50% of the owners of the neighboring properties.