Land use planning

As the port authority responsible for Canada’s largest port, it is our job to carefully balance multiple priorities and interests across our jurisdiction. Part of this responsibility means managing—on behalf of all Canadians and in support of national trade—the federal lands and waters that make up the Port of Vancouver.

Cover of the updated land use plan document

Similar to a municipality’s official community plan, our Land Use Plan guides the long-term development and use of port lands and waters over the next 15 to 20 years.

The purpose of our land use plan is to:

  • Communicate the direction of our long-term land use policy directions
  • Guide land use and future growth opportunities
  • Help current and future port tenants and customers identify areas in which to invest in new or intensified operations
  • Facilitate coordination of land use and transportation planning with neighbouring communities and government agencies
  • Provide neighbouring residents and communities with greater clarity about activities and uses that may occur on port lands and waters, and how community interests will be considered
  • Provide clarity to Indigenous groups about activities and uses that may occur on port lands and waters adjacent to reserves and within asserted traditional territories, and how Indigenous interests will be considered

As trade growth continues, we acquire land to support future port-related activities. We focus on sites with easy access to shipping channels, truck routes, or rail corridors, and close proximity to existing port holdings. Making strategic land acquisitions is one of the ways we ensure the Port of Vancouver is ready to handle growing trade.

Under the Canada Marine Act, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority must amend the land use plan to remove any divested land and add newly-acquired sites, and we must outline the intended use of new land through a formal notice. The plan was most recently updated and adopted by the port authority’s board of directors in December 2020.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority makes annual amendments to our land use plan. This process includes a 60-day public consultation period. Once the amendments are adopted by the port authority’s board of directors, a notice of decision is posted and advertised across the region.

2023 Land use plan amendment

On September 12, 2023, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority board of directors adopted an amendment to the land use plan that incorporated one property acquisition in Surrey. The amendment also re-designated two existing port authority sites in Electoral Area A—Indian Arm and Coquitlam. Public consultation on this year’s amendment took place from May 1 to July 1, 2023. Details of the amended properties are available in the Notice of decision as well as the Consultation summary report.

Past amendments

2023 Consultation summary report and Notice of decision

The land use plan is organized into seven planning areas based on geography and port-related activities. A comprehensive interactive land use map, along with individual planning area maps have been included to highlight the port authority’s current jurisdiction in the Lower Mainland.

Interactive land use map

Planning Area 1 – Burrard Inlet South Shore [PDF]
Planning Area 2 – Burrard Inlet North Shore [PDF]
Planning Area 3 – Indian Arm [PDF]
Planning Area 4 – Fraser River Inland Reaches [PDF]
Planning Area 5 – Fraser River Central [PDF]
Planning Area 6 – Roberts Bank [PDF]
Planning Area 7 – Fraser River North and South Arms [PDF]

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