Government of New Brunswick

In land use planning and development, there are several organizations and individuals who play specific roles, and the Act defines their roles, responsibilities, and authority. This section provides an overview of those roles and authorities, including the powers of local governments to create planning advisory committees, and the ability to determine the duties and powers of those committees. Local governments can also determine who can belong to a committee, how long they may serve, and how it is administered. This section also focuses on the role and power of the Provincial Planning Director, the Local Government planning director, and design review committees.

Under the Community Planning Act, authority is given to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the provincial government, the Minister of Environment and Local Government, the Director of Planning for the Province, local government councils, and planners/development officers to make and undertake specific actions related to land use planning and development.

When it comes to making regulations and by-laws, there is a clear distinction. Regulation-making authority primarily rests with the Lieutenant-Governor in Council (the provincial government). For by-laws in a local government, the Act gives the authority to the local government council to make land use by-laws.

In the unincorporated areas of the province (local service districts), the authority for rural plans and amendments to rural plans is with the Minister of the Department of Environment and Local Government. However, the Act does give the Minister the authority to undertake anything a council of a local government can do.

a) Advisory Committees (Section 3)

A local government council that provides its own land use planning services (if it does not purchase planning services from a regional service commission or another local government), may, through a municipal by-law, create a planning advisory committee (PAC). The purpose of this committee is to provide council with advice and recommendations related to land use planning.

b) Duties and Powers of Advisory Committees (Section 4)

The powers and duties of a planning advisory committee are to advise and make recommendations to council on planning matters, give its views to council on any by-law made under the Community Planning Act, and carry out other duties related to land use planning that council may assign to the planning advisory committee.

c) Membership (Section 5)

This section of the Act outlines membership requirements for planning advisory committees. This includes who and how many members can serve on the advisory committee, and also outlines how members can be removed.

d) Terms of Office (Section 6)

The Act allows the creation of a planning advisory committee, establishes who can be a member, how the committee is to be administered, and how the expenses of the committee will be managed.

e) Provincial Planning Director (Section 9)

The Act gives the Lieutenant-Governor in Council the authority to appoint an employee of the Department of Environment and Local Government as the Provincial Planning Director. It also defines the role and administrative powers of the Provincial Planning Director, such as acting as a development officer in communities without a local planning director, approving specific regional developments, providing technical advice to local governments and regional service commissions, and authorizing specific actions related to compliance and enforcement of the Act.

f) Local Government Planning Director (Section 10)

Where a council of a local government is providing its own land use planning services, the Act allows council to employ staff to carry out planning services, and appoint a planner as planning director and planning officer. The local government planning director serves as a development officer to the local government or regional service commission. Typically in New Brunswick the local government planning director tends to be the manager or director for other planners, development officers and building inspectors. All of whom provide planning and development services to the local government.

g) Design Review Committee By-Law (Sections 11- 12)

The design review committee is a new addition to the Community Planning Act that is intended to give councils the ability to create a committee to review and provide advice related to design elements.

The Act allows the council of a local government to create a design review committee through by-law. The council may also appoint members and assign positions such as the chair. Council may fix terms of appointments, determine if the committee members will be paid, and establish duties and procedures for the committee. Council may also determine what matters the committee will consider related to the external appearance of structures.