As the port authority responsible for Canada’s largest port, it is our job to carefully balance multiple priorities and interests across our jurisdiction. Part of this responsibility means managing—on behalf of all Canadians and in support of national trade—the federal lands and waters that make up the port.
Similar to a municipality’s official community plan, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Land Use Plan guides the long-term development for all federal lands managed by the port authority over the next 15 to 20 years.
Our current land use plan has been in effect since 2014 and was developed in consultation with more than 1,000 people representing municipalities, Indigenous groups, government agencies, environmental organizations, businesses, industries, and members of the public. Our land use plan balances these perspectives with our responsibility to facilitate Canada’s growing trade through the Port of Vancouver.
The purpose of our land use plan is to:
- Provide direction on our policies for long-term land use
- Guide the use of port lands and waters, including future growth opportunities
- Help our tenants and customers plan their operations and investments
- Help coordinate the use of land and transportation planning with our neighbouring communities and government agencies
- Explain the activities and uses that can occur on port lands, and how community interests will be considered in the planning process
- Provide clarity to Indigenous communities about the intended use of the port lands and waters adjacent to and within asserted traditional territories
- Demonstrate how future port growth will be managed sustainably
From time to time, we acquire land to support future port-related activities. We focus on sites with ready access to shipping channels, truck routes, or rail corridors, and close proximity to existing port holdings. Making strategic land acquisitions is one of the ways we ensure the Port of Vancouver is ready to handle growing trade.
Under the Canada Marine Act, we are required to add all land purchases to the Land Use Plan by way of formal amendment. Our letters patent outline the procedures we need to follow for public notice and adoption by the board.
Phase 2 of engagement of our land use plan is now closed
Between?June 19 and August 20, 2020, we invited the public and stakeholders to review the port authority’s draft updated land use plan and provide their comments through our online engagement page. Due to the effects of COVID-19, an online open house/webinar was hosted on August 12, 2020. A full recording of the open house can be found here.
Find out what we heard in phase one.?
We are engaging with the public to ensure the plan remains current and reflects future market trends, emerging issues critical to accommodate Canada’s growing trade and continues to support communities and Indigenous groups, generating benefits for all Canadians.
Yearly amendment process
Under the Canada Marine Act, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is required to add acquired sites into our land use plan, and give sites a land use designation by way of a formal amendment. We must also remove all divested land from our land use plan.
This is an annual process that happens each spring. A 60-day public consultation period is required and once the amendments are approved by the port authority’s board of directors, a notice of decision is posted and advertised across the region.
2020 Land use plan amendment
On October 27, 2020 the port authority’s board of directors amended the land use plan to incorporate two recent property acquisitions, to designate a previously undesignated port authority site, and to re-designate a portion of an existing port authority site from one land use designation to another. Public consultation on this year’s amendment took place from June 1 to August 1, 2020. Details of the amended properties are available in the notice of decision as well as the consultation summary report.
The land use plan is organized into seven planning areas based on geography and port-related activities. A comprehensive interactive land use map, along with individual planning area maps are listed below to highlight the port authority’s current jurisdiction in the Lower Mainland.
Interactive Land Use Map
Planning Area 1 – Burrard Inlet South Shore [PDF]
Planning Area 2 – Burrard Inlet North Shore [PDF]
Planning Area 3 – Indian Arm [PDF]
Planning Area 4 – Fraser River Inland Reaches [PDF]
Planning Area 5 – Fraser River Central [PDF]
Planning Area 6 – Roberts Bank [PDF]
Planning Area 7 – Fraser River North and South Arms [PDF]
The plan guides land-use decisions and addresses compatibility issues between industrial and residential land uses on port lands located between Victoria Drive and the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge as well as the adjacent Burrardview neighbourhood.
As part of the area plan, the East Vancouver Port Lands Liaison Group was established comprising of representatives from each organization to advise on issues of mutual interest. The group meets on a regular basis to monitor implementation of the area plan and to review and provide comments on proposed projects located within the plan area. These meetings provide a forum to exchange information and discuss new proposals and initiatives in the area.
The Central Waterfront Port Lands Policy Statement was jointly developed by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the City of Vancouver in 1994 to help guide future development of the central downtown area of Vancouver, in recognition of its importance to transportation, tourism and community.
The statement fosters urban development of the Central Waterfront Port Lands in a way that reinforce key port, regional, civic and community functions and requirements, while sensitively integrating all new development with its diverse neighbours. The statement it is intended to be flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of detailed plans that may be developed in the future.
Since the development of the statement, a portion of the Central Waterfront Port Lands area has been designated as a Special Study Area in the port authority’s Land Use Plan. This is in recognition of the future detailed planning and consultation required to develop this area in considerate manner.