What is a land use contract?
A land use contract (LUC) is a contract between a property owner and a local government that governs the use and development of the property such as land use, building siting and density.
Provincial legislation enabling LUCs was in effect for a short period of time during the 1970s; however, LUCs entered into during that time are still registered on the title of each property and remain in effect. Until recently, property owners and the municipality had to agree to amend or terminate an LUC.
Why is the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) discharging land use contracts now?
The Province enacted legislation in 2014, which stipulates that all land use contracts in British Columbia will be automatically terminated on June 30, 2024. Municipalities are required to enact zoning regulations for all properties affected by land use contracts prior to termination. The legislation also allows municipalities to terminate contracts prior to 2024 provided zoning is enacted for the affected lands.
The RMOW has decided to begin the zoning and termination process for lands affected by land use contracts prior to the 2024 deadline.
How many properties in Whistler are affected by land use contracts?
There are 2,600 properties in Whistler regulated by eight land use contracts. This includes strata, bare land strata and fee simple properties.
What is going to happen to my land use contract?
At some point between now and June 30, 2024, the land use contract affecting your property in Whistler will be terminated.
How can I tell if my property is regulated by a land use contract?
Copies of land use contracts are registered on the title of the affected properties and may be obtained from the BC Land Title Office:
What happens when my land use contract is terminated?
Once a land use contract is terminated, the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (RMOW’s) zoning and other municipal bylaws will govern the use and development of the property. Zoning takes effect one year from the date the land use contract is terminated.
How is the termination and zoning approved?
Each LUC termination and rezoning requires a bylaw approved by Council. A public hearing and notification is required before Council can approve these bylaws.
When will my land use contract be terminated?
The RMOW plans to terminate land use contracts and to rezone the affected lands at a rate of one to three land use contracts per year beginning in 2016. A tentative schedule will be regularly updated at whistler.ca/landusecontracts.
When a land use contract termination and rezoning bylaw are adopted by Council, does the zoning come into effect immediately?
No, land use contract termination bylaws and the new zoning come into effect one year after they are adopted. During this year the rules and regulations of the land use contract that is being terminated will continue to apply.
Where can I get more information on the Provincial legislation affecting land use contracts?
Division 16 of the Local Government Act explains the provincial rules for the termination of land use contracts.
Consent and Notification
Does the RMOW require the consent of landowners before a can be terminated?
No, unlike the previous land use contract termination process which required the consent of the landowner, new provincial legislation allows the RMOW to terminate land use contract without the consent of the landowner.
Will I be notified if Council proposes to terminate the land use contract that applies to my property?
Yes, once a report about the termination of a specific LUC has been presented to Council and once Council has given first and second readings to the land use contract termination bylaw, the municipality will notify by mail all property owners and tenants within the land use contract and property owners and tenants of property within 100 metres of the land use contract boundaries. A notice will also be placed in the local newspaper.
Property owners, tenants and the general public have the right to make representations, either in person or in writing, at the public hearing.
Is there a way I can keep my land use contract forever?
No, all land use contracts in British Columbia automatically terminate on June 30, 2024 or when they are terminated by the municipality. After a land use contract is terminated, zoning and other municipal bylaws will regulate land use on the property.
Can I appeal the early termination of my land use contract?
Yes, property owners can appeal to the Board of Variance for temporary exemption from early termination of a land use contract.
The Board of Variance may grant an exemption, if it finds that early termination of the land use contract will cause undue hardship. The application must be made within six months of the adoption of the land use contract termination bylaw.
Note that the exemption may last no later than June 30, 2024. For more information about the Board of Variance process.
How will the land use contract termination affect the ability to develop my property?
Wherever possible, the RMOW will “transfer” the regulations from each land use contract into the zoning bylaw; however, it is important to remember that this is not an exact process. Also, many rules in land use contracts are no longer lawful and cannot be transferred to zoning or other bylaws.
What are the implications for development on my property that does not meet the new zoning regulations?
The RMOW will make every attempt to ensure that the existing development will comply with the new zoning regulations. In the unlikely event that this is not possible, existing buildings and structures, which were lawfully built, will have legal non-conforming protection under Division 14 of the Local Government Act.
Where can I get more information on the land use contract termination process?
The RMOW will host two types of information sessions annually:
- A general information session where the public can obtain general information on the land use contract termination process
- A property owner information session where property owners with land use contracts scheduled for termination that year can obtain specific information about the proposed zoning and termination process.
Find more information about the termination process and scheduled information sessions at whistler.ca/landusecontracts.
Who can I contact with questions about the land use contract termination process?