Regional Growth Strategy in the Works 

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has endorsed the creation of a Regional Growth Strategy for the area.

The strategy will address land use and growth in the ‘grey’ areas in between the municipalities within the SLRD.

"It can be a document to help everybody do some really effective growth," said Paul Edgington, administrator for the SLRD.

"It’s the kind of planning work that will dovetail quite nicely with the Whistler sustainability project.

"The principle is to think globally, act locally.

"It (reaches) beyond one municipality to a host of municipalities in the surrounding electoral areas."

The Regional Growth Strategy was endorsed at the August SLRD meeting and work will begin on the project in the next month. Edgington is hoping to have the strategy complete by summer 2005. But there’s a lot of work to be done in that time.

Some of the basic guiding principles which will determine the new strategy are: avoiding urban sprawl and ensuring development takes place where adequate facilities exist, minimizing the use of cars and encouraging the efficient use of public transit, protecting environmentally sensitive areas and supporting economic development that enhances the unique character of the local communities.

The criteria is taken from the Local Government Act.

"Those are the things that the province encourages regional districts and their member municipalities to sort out," said Edgington.

"What you’re trying to do is get sustainable development that allows cost effective infrastructure...to try and combat the urban sprawl and make efficient use of your space and efficient use of existing facilities."

The project will begin by focusing on improving communication among the stakeholders in the SLRD.

This will be followed by the more detailed work of the strategy itself.

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