What is Planning for Major Projects?
Due to proposed growth, the City is collecting information about the impacts of having one or more major projects in Prince Rupert. Other communities who have hosted major projects have felt impacts to population, housing, infrastructure, services, as well as their social fabric. After looking at those communities, and potential impacts to our own, the City is now setting in motion plans to accommodate major projects—to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by growth, mitigate the potential negative impacts, and ensure that the community has a say in shaping our collective future.
To prepare for growth, City Council and Staff have taken several steps:
2. Commissioned a report on the physical infrastructure requirements needed to accommodate LNG development. KPMG report
3. Commissioned a report detailing the status of all City infrastructure, and launched the “Re:Build Rupert” initiative with updates to the community about the work that’s being undertaken. Re:Build Rupert
4. Hired the Community Development Initiative under the “Redesign Rupert” banner to conduct an 18-month community engagement process around what outcome Rupertites want to see from development. Re:Design Rupert
5. In January of 2016, the Mayor created a Council committee that developed policies and strategies that will help us to manage the way that growth plays out in the community. The intent of the resulting Interim Land Use Policy Framework is to identify appropriate areas for future development, create policy that addresses funding to non-market housing, and policy to maintain and enhance the character of local neighbourhoods. You can find a copy of that Interim Land Use Policy Framework here.
Please note – These Interim Land Use Policies have been developed to serve as Council’s statement of intent with regards to management of potential impacts of proposed projects, and associated development therein. Further details related to these policies and their enforcement will be implemented through the adoption and amendment of associated bylaws.
Should any major project proceed, the City has identified what we will need to do to be ready, and is creating clear plans and guidelines to provide developers, project proponents and other levels of government moving forward.
Why doesn’t the City just rely on the Environmental Assessment Process?
Major projects of a certain size are required to go through an environmental assessment (EA) process by the Federal and Provincial. The intent of the EA process is to look at the potential environmental impacts of a project, and set up requirements for the project proponent to mitigate potential negative impacts of their operations. However, the City feels that the EA process marginalizes the socio-economic impacts of development — for this reason the City has chosen to collect our own information on things like population, housing and infrastructure to be provided to the Provincial and Federal EA offices in project assessments.
What if LNG doesn’t happen?
City Council and staff have ensured that the policies and plans developed are just good practice in general. If LNG growth does not materialize, the fact remains that we will still need to upgrade our infrastructure, and lay out a plan for the community going forward. Our Hays 2.0 City Vision statement laid out a goal to “Redesign Rupert”. Collecting good information, updating our local plans and policies put us one step closer to realizing that vision. LNG development makes the needs we have more immediate, but either way, the work that we are doing will help to set the stage for Prince Rupert’s future.