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In This Volume

1 In this Act and in a bylaw or resolution under this Act:

  • “aquifer” has the same meaning as in section 1(1) of the Water Sustainability Act;
  • “assessed value” means assessed value determined under the Assessment Act;
  • “assessment roll” means an assessment roll within the meaning of the Assessment Act;
  • “assessor” means an assessor appointed under the Assessment Authority Act;
  • “building inspector” means an individual designated by the council as a building inspector for the municipality;
  • “charge”, in relation to an estate or interest in land, means a charge under the Land Title Act;
  • “collector” means the municipal officer assigned responsibility as collector of taxes for the municipality;
  • “converted value of land and improvements” means the net taxable value of land and improvements multiplied by the percentage prescribed by regulation for this purpose;
  • “corporate officer” means the municipal officer assigned responsibility under section 148;
  • “council” means the council of a municipality;
  • “designated municipal officer” means
  • (a) the municipal officer assigned responsibility under section 146 in relation to the matter, or
  • (b) if no assignment referred to in paragraph (a) has been made, the corporate officer;
  • “farm land” means land classified under the Assessment Act as a farm;
  • “general property tax” means a property value tax or a parcel tax that is imposed in the municipality generally;
  • “greater board” means the corporate body, incorporated by an Act, with responsibility for the provision of water or sewage and drainage services;
  • “highway” includes a street, road, lane, bridge, viaduct and any other way open to public use, other than a private right of way on private property;
  • “impose”, in relation to a tax, includes levy;
  • “improvements” means improvements as defined in the Assessment Act;
  • “inspector” means the Inspector of Municipalities under section 758 of the Local Government Act;
  • “intermunicipal boundary highway” means a highway that forms all or part of the boundary between 2 or more municipalities, including any part of such a highway that deviates so that it is wholly or partly inside one or more of the municipalities, but does not include all or part of an intermunicipal transecting highway;
  • “intermunicipal bridge” means a bridge that crosses a river, stream or other body of water that forms all or part of the boundary between 2 or more municipalities;
  • “intermunicipal transecting highway” means a highway that transects 2 or more municipalities and serves those municipalities;
  • “intermunicipal watercourse” means
  • (a) a natural stream or watercourse that forms the boundary between, or runs through, more than one municipality, or
  • (b) a stream or watercourse referred to in section 311 of the Local Government Act;
  • “land”
  • (a) for the purposes of assessment and taxation, means land as defined in the Assessment Act, and
  • (b) for other purposes, includes the surface of water, but does not include
    • (i) improvements,
    • (ii) mines or minerals belonging to the Crown, or
    • (iii) mines or minerals for which title in fee simple has been registered in the land title office;
  • “land title office” means the applicable land title office under the Land Title Act;
  • “local area service” means a service referred to in section 210(1);
  • “local authority” means
  • (a) a municipality, including the City of Vancouver,
  • (b) a regional district,
  • (c) the trust council, a local trust committee and the Islands Trust Conservancy within the meaning of the Islands Trust Act,
  • (d) a greater board,
  • (e) an improvement district, and
  • (f) any other local body prescribed by regulation as a local authority for the purposes of one or more provisions of this Act of the Local Government Act;
  • “local service area” means the area in which a local service tax is imposed;
  • “local service tax” means a tax imposed under section 216;
  • “minister responsible” means the minister responsible in relation to the applicable matter;
  • “municipality” means, as applicable,
  • (a) the corporation into which the residents of an area are incorporated as a municipality under Part 2 of the Local Government Act or under any other Act, or
  • (b) the geographic area of the municipal corporation,
  • but does not include the City of Vancouver unless otherwise provided;
  • “net taxable value”, in relation to land or improvements or both, means
  • (a) if the Hospital District Act applies, the net taxable value of land or improvements or both for regional hospital district purposes, and
  • (b) if the Hospital District Act does not apply, the net taxable value of land or improvements or both determined as if the Hospital District Act applies;
  • “newspaper” means, in relation to a requirement or authorization for publication in a newspaper, a publication or local periodical that contains items of news and advertising;
  • “occupier”
  • (a) for the purposes of Division 8 of Part 7, means occupier as defined in the Assessment Act, and
  • (b) for other purposes, means a person
    • (i) who is qualified to maintain an action for trespass,
    • (ii) who is in possession of Crown land under a homestead entry or preemption record,
    • (iii) who is in possession of
      • (A) Crown land, or
      • (B) land owned by a municipality or regional district under a lease, licence, agreement for sale, accepted application to purchase, easement or other record from the Crown, municipality or regional district, or
    • (iv) who simply occupies the land;
  • “owner” means, in respect of real property,
  • (a) the registered owner of an estate in fee simple,
  • (b) the tenant for life under a registered life estate,
  • (c) the registered holder of the last registered agreement for sale,
  • (d) the holder or occupier of land held in the manner referred to in section 228 or section 229, and
  • (e) an Indian who is an owner under the letters patent of a municipality incorporated under section 9 of the Local Government Act;
  • “parcel” means any lot, block or other area in which land is held or into which it is subdivided, but does not include a highway;
  • “parcel tax” means a tax imposed on the basis of a single amount for each parcel, the taxable area of a parcel or the taxable frontage of a parcel;
  • “partnering agreement” means an agreement between a municipality and a person or public authority under which the person or public authority agrees to provide a service on behalf of the municipality, other than a service that is part of the general administration of the municipality;
  • “property class” means a property class under the Assessment Act;
  • “property taxes” means taxes under Division 3, 4, or 5 of Part 7;
  • “property value tax” means a tax imposed on the basis of the value of land or improvements or both;
  • “Provincial arterial highway” has the same meaning as “arterial highway” in section 1 of the Transportation Act;
  • “real property” means land, with or without improvements so affixed to the land as to make them in fact and law a part of it;
  • “registered”, in relation to an interest in land less than the fee simple, means registered as a charge;
  • “registered mail” includes any method of mail delivery provided by the Canada Post Office for which confirmation of delivery to a named person is provided;
  • “registered owner” means the person registered in the land title office as entitled to the fee simple;
  • “registrar of land titles” means the applicable registrar of a land title district under the Land Title Act;
  • “service” means, in relation to a municipality, an activity, work or facility undertaken or provided by or on behalf of the municipality;
  • “soil” includes sand, gravel, rock and other substances of which land is composed;
  • “stream” has the same meaning as in section 1(1) of the Water Sustainability Act;
  • “tax sale” means a tax sale under Division 7 of Part 16 of the Local Government Act.

2003-26-Schedule-1, effective January 1, 2004 (B.C. Reg. 423/2003); 2003-52-549, effective January 1, 2004 (B.C. Reg. 465/2003); 2004-44-99, effective December 2004 (B.C. Reg. 547/2004); 2007-13-53, 54; 2007-13-53, effective September 24, 2007 (B.C. Reg. 292/2007); 2007-41-61, effective November 30, 2007 (B.C. Reg. 399/07); 2007-36-50, effective April 3, 2009 (B.C. Reg. 55/2009); 2010-21-224, effective July 30, 2010 (B.C. Reg. 245/2010); RS 2015-1-RevSch; 2014-15-148, effective February 29, 2016 (B.C. Reg. 35/2016); 2018-23-54.

The excerpts from s. 1 of the Schedule apply to the sections of the Community Charter cited in these materials.

CASE LAW

“Highway”

In light of s. 107 of the Land Title Act, lands dedicated for a road allowance are “highways” open to public use even though not improved for that purpose. They therefore fall within the jurisdiction of the municipality to enact a bylaw under s. 535 of the Municipal Act (now, s. 40 of the Community Charter) (Einhorn v. Maple Ridge (District), 1993 CanLII 1432 (BC CA), reversing 1991 CanLII 479 (BC SC); see also the annotation for this decision under s. 40 of the Community Charter).

“Land”

The definition of “land” in s. 5 of the Local Government Act (now, s. 1 of the Schedule to the Community Charter) does not include “mines or minerals belonging to the Crown”. Under the Mineral Tenure Act and the Mines Act, the respondent was authorized to operate a storage and processing facility as part of its mining business. The site was located on Crown land within the boundaries of the appellant local government. The respondent argued that there would be great harm and no good in being subject to the municipal zoning power in the exercise of its surface rights to access its minerals.

The court found no good reason to give precedence to the mining regime over the local government regime when the Legislature, as a matter of policy, had stated none. Rather, the court found that the words in the definition could be read most harmoniously when “mines” was confined to an excavation or substances on or under the surface. The respondent’s right was not intended to permit mining activity within an organized territory in the province without regard to local needs or wishes. A local government bylaw that dealt with the use of land as defined in s. 5 of the Local Government Act was one more regulation with which miners must comply if they wished to exercise surface rights derived from a mineral lease. Because, in this case, there was no conflict between the surface right the respondent sought to exercise and the appellant’s bylaw, the provincial legislation presented no impediment to the enforcement of the zoning bylaw (Squamish (District) v. Great Pacific Pumice Inc., 2003 BCCA 404).

"Owner"

In Kalantzis v. East Kootenay (Regional District), 2019 BCSC 1001 (Chambers), in regard to a dispute over proposals to amend the Official Community Plan and bylaws to accommodate community associations’ proposal for a marina/joint moorage facility, the court said that under the Interpretation Act, the definition of “owner” in the Community Charter applies to the Local Government Act only “so far as the terms defined can be applied”. The Crown has all the rights of an owner in fee simple without holding a freehold estate in fee simple or any other freehold estate. The definition could not be applied to Crown land in a meaningful and sensible way. For the purpose of ss. 460 and 470 of the Local Government Act, the owner of Crown land is the Crown.