The development and evaluation of a rural environmental planning strategy for the Selkirk and District Planning Area

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Jopling, David T.
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This study has been conducted in response to the ineffectiveness of certain rural planning processes in the urban-rural fringe area of the Winnipeg region. Specifically, the research has sought to develop and evaluate an alternative planning strategy that is "practical and implementable" in addressing the local problems experienced in the recent Selkirk District development plan process. In the summer of 1996, the Manitoba Municipal Board instructed the Selkirk and District Planning Area Board (SDPAB) to conduct further study and evaluation of their proposed development plan to better address the specific rural environmental issues in the district. In particular, this practicum seeks to identify and evaluate alternative rural environmental planning approaches, related decision-making structures, and plan implementation mechanisms that are available to a rural planning district, such as the SDPAB--that responds to both the variety of development interests present in the District, and the limits of the natural environment. This practicum recommends two main response strategies, established from the number of available combinations of approaches and tools reviewed, that would appear to best address the current and anticipated issues in the Selkirk District. The first strategy developed is intended to be applied immediately. This strategy reflects an explicit basic rural environmental framework that incorporates public participation throughout the process, is rural-oriented. environmentally-based, and is practical--because of its attention to current time frames and fiscal limits. The second strategy entails the development of an alternative and more progressive framework, over the next five years, to eventually replace the first strategy. It involves the application of an ecologically-based approach which uses rural design-oriented plan implementation tools to achieve a desirable land use pattern that would have significantly less impact on the environment than present and short-term strategy approaches.