Development Plans (and their implementing zoning by-laws, along with building by-laws) provide the basic land development “rules” by which municipalities, developers and the public operate. Development Plans are adopted as by-laws by municipalities and planning districts under The Planning Act in all of Manitoba except the City of Winnipeg.
Although written by municipalities or planning districts, all Development Plans must be approved by the provincial government. All 16 municipalities in the Capital Region, including the City of Winnipeg, have Development Plans in place. Under current legislation, all Development Plans are subject to review every five years. Local authorities also amend their Development Plans from time to time, and all such amendments also require provincial approval.
Development Plans are intended to set the medium to long term land development goals and policies for municipalities. While their policies can be quite specific and in some cases quite detailed, for the most part they are far more general than the rules adopted by a municipality under its zoning by-law. Development Plans include maps which designate areas for basic types of development, such as “Residential” or “Urban” or “Commercial”, or “Agricultural”, etc. Whereas the more specific zoning by-law will designate an area within the municipality. For each of the designated areas the Development Plan will then set development policies.