90046278_7b2ae3723f_m The British Columbia provincial government is working hard to be recognized as the greenest of all the provinces, with carbon taxes and sustainable transportation initiatives. The latest move is a mixed blessing for municipalities.

In looking for “solutions to climate change”, local governments are being invited to seek solutions that “make their communities more environmentally sustainable”.

CivicInfo BC – News

Once the legislation comes into force, local governments will be required to include greenhouse gas emission targets, policies and actions in their Official Community Plans and Regional Growth Strategies.

They will also be able to use development permits to promote energy and water conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gases, and encourage alternative transportation options for off-street parking. Developers who are building small housing units (29 square metres or less) will be exempt from paying Development Cost Charges. Local governments will have the ability to waive or reduce these charges for green development including small lot subdivisions and affordable rental housing.

Many of these initiative are already being used in progressive municipalities, with auditing of greenhouse gases and efforts towards water conservation two of the big ones.

The City of Rossland is in the process of reviewing their development cost charges, and will incorporate exemptions or discounts for smaller units. Rossland already uses building permits as a mechanism for requiring water conservation upgrades such as water meters and low flush toilets.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.