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POLICY CONSULTATION – CONSOLIDATION OF POLICY #92 (LAND USE AND PERMITTING) AND POLICY #5 (SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT)

The UBC community is invited to comment on the proposed consolidation of Policy #92 (Land Use and Permitting) (“Policy #92”) and Policy #5 (Sustainability) (“Policy #5”). Currently Policy #92 establishes a framework within which rules governing land use are created.

Policy #5 sets out UBC’s commitment to improving its performance in sustainability in all areas of operations. It was established more than 20 years ago and was last revised more than 10 years ago. Its intention was to articulate UBC’s leadership role in the area of sustainability and served its purpose well at a time when sustainability was still an emerging area in the consciousness of governments, universities, and society broadly. While UBC continues to be a world leader in sustainability, Policy #5 has become substantially out of date. In addition,  sustainability is strongly connected to land use and planning, which is not adequately reflected when these areas are addressed in separate Policies.

The proposed consolidation integrates land use, sustainable development, and sustainable operations, and reinforces UBC’s commitment to sustainability. It incorporates UBC’s objectives and commitment in respect of sustainability and includes explicit references to sustainability in its title, which will be “Land Use, Sustainability and Permitting”, and in the name of the Land Use Committee, which will be changed to “Land Use and Operational Sustainability Committee” (the “LUSC”).

The proposed consolidation explicitly contemplates the creation of land use rules to address sustainable operations and development, thereby underlining the importance of sustainability in UBC’s land use, planning and permitting regime. As with all land use rules, any land use rules specifically addressing sustainability matters will be reviewed by the LUSC before being recommended to UBC’s Board of Governors (the “Board”) for approval.

In addition, the proposed consolidation refines and provides further transparency around the various documents that govern land use decisions. Under the current version of Policy #92, there are two categories of such documents, as follows:

  1. External Governance Requirements, which are legally enforceable requirements established by federal, provincial, or local government; and
  2. Land Use Rules, which are mandatory requirements established by the Board (e.g., Development Handbook).

The proposed consolidation establishes two additional categories of documents, as follows:

  1. Plans, which are documents that are approved by the Board that are intended to have broad application and to help the community understand UBC’s long-term objectives and goals and that may be aspirational in nature (e.g., UBC Green Building Action Plan); and
  2. Guidelines, which are documents issued by the Associate Vice-President, Campus & Community Planning and the Associate Vice-President, Facilities that provide information to the community about the manner in which Campus & Community Planning makes decisions and that may be administrative and technical in nature (e.g., UBC Technical Guidelines”).

The proposed consolidation modifies the composition of the LUSC by adding the Associate Vice-President, Facilities as a member of this committee. As in the current version of Policy #92, it  requires that two external members be on the LUSC, but in addition to this, it also provides that there may be up to four external members on the LUSC and sets out further details as to how the Board and external members of the LUSC will be selected. The proposed consolidation also expands the range of matters that can be appealed to include all decisions made by a Director of Campus & Community Planning with respect to applications for permits, licenses or variances. Appeals will continue to be determined by the Associate Vice-President, Campus & Community Planning.

The proposed consolidation is now being published and all members of UBC’s community are encouraged to provide their comments. Please submit feedback to the Office of the University Counsel at university.counsel@ubc.ca by February 1, 2019.

For further information about this policy proposal, please see the information package that was provided to the Board of Governors at https://bog3.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2018/11/3_2018.11_Policy-92-Land-Use-and-Permitting.pdf.

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