The original Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) was adopted in 1997 by the RDN's member municipalities and unincorporated electoral areas in response to concerns about the impacts of growth in the region. Rapid growth in the late 1980s and early 1990s raised residents' concerns about worsening traffic, loss of open space and natural areas, increased costs of services, and changing neighbourhoods. It became clear that increased population growth projected for the region would undermine the very attributes of the region that residents value if growth continued to be accommodated (as it had been since the 1950's) through further urban expansion into farms, forest and country side.
The RDN and its partners decided to adopt a growth management strategy which would direct development into designated urban areas to keep urban settlement compact, protect the integrity of rural and resource areas, protect the environment, increase servicing efficiency, and retain mobility within the region.
Since the first full review of the RGS in 2003, new concerns have risen to the forefront including climate change, food security and affordable housing. The second full review of the RGS (which resulted in the adoption of the 2011 RGS) was initiated in 2007. During 2008 and 2009, the public were asked what changes should be included in an updated RGS in order to support the Regional District's vision of a more sustainable region. The results of the workshops and online surveys were the foundation for changes reflected in the 2011 RGS. The results of those engagement efforts are attached below:
The titles of the 6 Discussion Papers are as follows: