This policy outlines the District’s approach to receiving, processing, evaluating, and operationalizing Local Area Service (LAS) requests and is intended to complement the approach laid in the Community Charter.
The public enquiries policy ensures consistency in corporate response to public enquiries.
The Official Community Plan is the District's number one planning tool for the future. In June 2018, Council adopted the current Official Community Plan for West Vancouver.
An Official Community Plan lays out a high-level decision-making framework for the future. It is a general statement of objectives and policies to guide planning and land-use changes. As such, it will serve as a tool to guide Council decisions and municipal administration.
Development permit areas can be found in Schedule ii (Area Specific Policies & Guidelines) below.
The purpose of this policy is to:establish the framework for the evaluation of applications for permissive exemptions from property taxes pursuant to Section 224 of the Community Charter; and support transparent, fair and consistent review of all applications for permissive tax exemptions and set out the requirements for permissive tax exemption recipients.
West Vancouver offers many opportunities for recreation and sport which touches the lives of many residents. Whether you walk the Seawalk, hike the trails, swim at the Aquatic Centre, play soccer at Ambleside, or do Tai Chi at the Seniors’ Activity Centre, you are enjoying the many programs and facilities provided by the District. We pride ourselves on facilitating opportunities that encourage people to learn, play and grow, and making them accessible to people of all ages and abilities. The benefits to long-term health from being active and connected are well-documented.
The District has developed a Sport and Active Recreation Policy to formalize the underlying principles of why the municipality provides programs and opportunities for sport and active recreation, and to help guide decisions for the provision of these services.
The District's Sport and Active Recreation Policy was adopted by Council on November 29, 2016. This policy was developed with positive and engaging input from leaders in community sports groups, other groups providing opportunities for sport and active recreation, the West Vancouver School District (SD45) and Vancouver Coastal Health.
January 2020 Update
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (formerly Industry Canada) publication CPC-2-0-03 - Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems outlines the process that must be followed by proponents seeking to install or modify antenna systems. Effective July 15, 2014, Section 6 of CPC-2-0-03 was updated to exclude certain types of proposals from land-use authority and public consultation requirements. See exclusions here. An update to the District’s Wireless Communication Facilities Policy is needed to bring the policy into alignment with Federal regulations for radiocommunication and broadcasting antenna systems. This update will be completed as part of the District’s upcoming 2020 corporate policy update.
In the meantime, the District’s Wireless Communication Facilities Policy does not apply to facilities that are excluded from land-use authority and public consultation requirements under Industry Canada’s CPC-2-0-03 - Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems publication.
On Monday, May 27, 2013 Council adopted an updated Wireless Communication Facilities Policy.
The Policy builds on the District’s 1997 policy and establishes a more robust series of processes and guidelines for different types of proposals.
The policy is clear that cell towers should be directed to the Upper Levels Highway and avoid local residential roads.
All applications for cell towers over 15 m in height are presented to Council for consideration following a public engagement process as set out in the Policy.
In the event that the Council passes a resolution of non-support for a given application, the wireless provider may apply to Industry Canada with an ‘impasse request,’ after which Industry Canada would act as an arbiter between parties. Ultimately, Industry Canada may choose to approve a tower application with or without local government support, providing that a willing landlord is available.
Who Regulates Cell Towers
Industry Canada, through the federal Radiocommunication Act, regulates and is the decision-making authority for radiocommunication and broadcasting antenna systems and structures throughout Canada (including cell towers, AM/FM radio, over-the-air television signals, and radio frequencies reserved for baby monitors, WiFi routers, wireless landline telephones, amateur use, aviation, and emergency responders).
Health Canada has established federal standards for safe human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy, published as Safety Code 6, and local government has neither the authority nor expertise to comment on the standard. The Chief Medical Health Officer of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has issued a statement that concludes, “in light of the current scientific understanding of the risks of RF exposures to the public, the installation of base stations and cellular antennae in the community do not pose an adverse health risk and Safety Code 6 provides an appropriate level of protection.”
Applicants proposing cell towers must follow the default public consultation process established by Industry Canada or, if one exists, the consultation process established by the respective local government (in this case, the District’s Wireless Communication Facilities Policy). In all cases, a willing landlord is required before a wireless provider can install an antenna site.
Where applicants believe the local consultation requirements are unreasonable, they may contact Industry Canada for guidance. Industry Canada considers concerns about any potential effects on property values and questions as to the validity of Industry Canada or Health Canada regulation to not be relevant concerns.
History & Developing the District's Policy
In May 2012, staff brought forward to Council an update on recent trends within the Canadian mobile phone industry, prompted in part by the ongoing auction of wireless spectrum by Industry Canada.
Industry Canada is the federal department responsible for the licensing of wireless spectrum across the country and has in recent years placed priority on the efficient use of wireless spectrum through the re-purposing of underutilized licenses. The majority of this newly available wireless spectrum has been reserved for Canada’s wireless communication providers (to be bought at auction) in order to accommodate industry growth and demand for services from customers.
Wireless providers report that changing customer behaviour is testing wireless network capacity to an extent not before seen. Cell sites which once could be counted on to reliably serve a given area are now suffering from reduced coverage due to increased demand, and gaps in service are growing. Providers report higher numbers of complaints and dropped calls while some residents may report that their phone works perfectly fine. Both parties may be correct as the effective range of a cell tower ‘breathes’ as the demand and load placed on it changes through the day.
West Vancouver Council received a staff report transmitting a draft Wireless Communication Facilities Policy on July 23, 2012. The public was invited to comment on this draft policy from mid-September to mid-November 2012. The invitation to comment took place through the District website, newspaper notices, press release and media coverage, and posters at District facilities. In response to feedback from the public, wireless providers, and Council, a revised draft of the Policy was prepared for Council review in February 2013, and a final version of the Policy was prepared for Council consideration in May 2013. Members of the public also took the opportunity to address Council directly during their meetings.
The draft policy was revised based on feedback received and returned to Council, who approved a finalized policy.