Planning for rural non-farm residential development in Southern Manitoba: A case of 'them versus us'-planners and others
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The purpose of this practicum was to examine the evolution of planning for rural non-farm residential development (RN-FRD), in terms of trends, policy and practice. An analysis of trends, and underlying changes, in planning policy and regulation in Southern Manitoba, since the 1970s, is presented - with a particular interest in farming-dominated regions outside the Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). More specifically, the practicum examines how land use planning for RN-FRD has evolved – over the last decade – especially in the vicinity of certain (official or unofficial) Large Urban Centres (LUCs), situated in non-metropolitan settings. It reviews how literature addressing RN-FRD in the 1970s may have influenced early policy evolution, and how recent literature might be considered to better inform current planning surrounding RN-FRD. The underlying issues are addressed through a targeted literature review, interviews with key informants/stakeholders, and comparative case study of the recent Development Plan experiences of three rural planning jurisdictions in Southern Manitoba - one Rural Municipality, of Hanover (RMH); and two Planning Districts – Brandon and Area (BAPD), and Rhineland Plum Coulee Gretna Altona (RPGAPD). All three have been experiencing significant RN-FRD, and have notably attempted to address RN-FRD within their Development Plan. In summary, the practicum assesses planning for RN-FRD in Southern Manitoba over the past four decades – in terms of both policy and practice, and concludes with recommendations for both planners and policy makers, including: how to better define RN-FRD, planning beyond municipal boundaries, the incorporation of better long-term planning, and integrating infill approaches to RN-FRD. The research inevitably deals with the tension between professional planners and others – notably the elected and administrative officials responsible for the planning jurisdictions. A better balancing of the interests of both is explored, around the common ground of better planning for RN-FRD in the future. The research indicates that a new alliance may be emerging; it is no longer such a pronounced case of ‘them versus us’.