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Land Use Planning in Manitoba

Land Use Planning in Manitoba

Land use plans and zoning by-laws set the direction for development in Manitoba municipalities.

In agricultural areas, these plans and by-laws are required to sustain the industry by:

  • preserving agricultural land for agricultural uses, now and in the future
  • protecting agricultural operations from encroachment by incompatible land uses

The local planning process

Every local government creates a development plan, which sets out objectives and policies to guide future land use. For example, an area most suitable for food production should be designated as an agriculture area, making it off-limits for anything other than agriculture and resource-related uses.

A local government then creates a zoning by-law, which:

  • divides the municipality into land use zones
  • sets out criteria for each zone’s development and operation (for example, minimum site area and separation distance requirements)
  • establishes permitted and conditional uses within each zone

Manitoba Agriculture participates at every stage and provides technical input, making sure the province’s goals for agricultural areas are upheld, participates at every stage, and provides technical input to make sure the province’s goals for agricultural areas are upheld.

Resources for Farmers

  • Land Use Planning for Agriculture (PDF 375 KB) outlines the planning process in Manitoba, the purpose of the Provincial Land Use Policies, and informs producers of considerations for their farm operations and how to provide input into the local planning process.
  • Land Use Planning for Livestock (PDF 336 KB) explains the livestock-related requirements of The Planning Act, local governments’ responsibilities regarding livestock operations and how producers can represent agriculture as local plans are developed.

Resources for Planners and Municipalities

Laws and Regulations

  • The Planning Act sets out roles and responsibilities for local governments as they develop land use plans and zoning by-laws.
  • The Provincial Planning Regulation enacts the Provincial Land Use Policies (PLUPs) and sets out requirements for development plans and livestock operations. The PLUPs are based on the principles of sound land use planning, and are intended to guide land use and development decisions. Agriculture is one of nine policy areas described in the PLUPs.

Land Use and Development

Manitoba is a vast province rich with natural heritage. As a result, there is pressure to utilize this heritage from a diversity of interests (e.g. forestry, mining, tourism, agriculture, recreation, settlement and other land uses). To sustain a healthy ecosystem, it is important that the demand for development is balanced with the need to protect and preserve valuable resources and the environment.

Land use planning helps communities establish their vision for the future use of land, resources and natural features, and outlines the steps required to achieve that vision. It involves managing land uses and deciding where best to develop homes, parks, agriculture and industry, and where things should be left in their natural state. Land use planning is an essential part of building healthy, prosperous and sustainable communities.

Through the planning process, communities can decide the future course of their growth and development and ensure that citizens are involved in the decision making. Sound planning will balance private and public interests and help communities manage change, avoid land use conflicts and respond to future challenges. Land use planning in Manitoba is a partnership between the provincial and local governments and their citizens. Each plays a key role in ensuring the planning process is a success.