Community Development and Ecosystem Protection
The City of Burnaby considers provisions that protect our ecosystems and advances these in all major land use planning and development initiatives.
Burnaby recognizes the importance of environmentally sensitive areas and maintaining intact natural ecosystems; these values are reflected in various policies and initiatives. Key documents include the completion and Council approval of the State of the Environment Report in 1994 and the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Strategy in 1995. The full ESA report can be found here (17MB file). These initiatives set the direction for many of the City’s subsequent achievements in environmental protection and enhancement, including acquisition and dedication of several major Parks and Conservation Areas and the establishment of the Tree Bylaw. Currently, development within or in close proximity to environmentally sensitive areas are subject to the City’s Environmental Review Committee process.
Read on for information on the policies and regulations relating to development and ecosystem protection in Burnaby.
Strategic Planning for Ecosystem Protection
- The Environment Section in the Official Community Plan identifies some key environmentally sensitive areas as Green Zones, and outlines an Environmental Policy Framework that includes protection of Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs)
- In 1995 the City adopted the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Strategy and the Planning and Design Principles for ESAs to protect these areas.
- Since the 1970s the City has had an open watercourse policy that has preserved a network of 79 streams contained within three major watershed. Learn more about Watersheds here.
- The following are some of the key watershed plans completed to date:
Development Planning and Review
- The Environmental Review Committee reviews development proposals for compliance with City policies for ecosystem protection, including the Streamside Protection and Enhancement Areas Bylaw (see 6.23 on page 23) enacted in 2005, which establishes development setbacks from streams and ravines
- The City follows the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Land Development Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Habitat (1992)
- The Watercourse Bylaw, established in 1988, prohibits fouling or impeding any watercourse or drainage system
- The Total Stormwater Management Approach policy establishes requirements for on-site retention, infiltration and treatment of stormwater, for new development and redevelopment, to protect downstream watercourses
- The brochure Landscaping for Single and Two-Family Dwellings provides guidance for creating ‘soft landscaping’ to help rainwater soak into the ground and protect downstream watercourses
- Over the years, the City of Burnaby has worked with the development community for Ecosystem Restoration and Enhancement in many environmentally sensitive areas
Construction Impacts Mitigation
- Streams and Ravines brochure
- Environmental Review of Land Development
- The Soil Removal Regulation Bylaw, established in 1961, outlines permit requirements for soil removal
- The Soil Deposit Bylaw established in 1971, outlines permit requirements for soil placement
Provincial and Federal Regulations for Developing Around Watercourses
Note: this information is provided for convenience only; it is the responsibility of all land owners and project proponents to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.