The RGS Settlement Area Mapping identifies the settlement types and provides the spatial context for growth management strategies. The purpose of this mapping within the RGS is to guide the land use and community planning processes by defining the long-term urban boundaries where they are known and assisting in delineating the defined non-settlement areas within the region. As such, there are two main settlement types – Settlement Areas (Urban and Non-Urban) and Non-Settlement Areas. Land use designations fall into these settlement types, as outlined below, and have been mapped to assist the implementation of Goal 1 of the RGS. These include:
Urban Areas – areas designated in Official Community Plans or otherwise identified for existing and future urban growth, including serviced rural residential areas that are contiguous with and functionally part of existing urban areas, but excluding non-settlement areas that have agricultural, environmental, open space, parks and protected areas, hazard lands and other limited use constraints.
Non-Urban Areas – areas designated in Official Community Plans or otherwise identified as Master Planned Community, Rural Community and Serviced Residential settlements and for long-term low density Rural Residential land uses, excluding areas that have agricultural, environmental, open space, parks and protected areas, hazard lands and other limited use constraints.
Lands designated as Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), limited use, environmentally sensitive and hazard lands, parks, open space or protected areas, and Crown forest lands where major settlement development will be discouraged.
The Settlement Area Mapping provides a general guide for a regional settlement pattern that reflects a commitment to compact, complete, sustainable communities.