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​Despite approval by 23 of 24 involved local authorities, adoption of Metro Vancouver’s new Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) will be significantly delayed, the region’s Board of Directors noted today. The City of Coquitlam has declined to approve the strategy, despite intensive efforts to accommodate its concerns, triggering a provincially-mandated dispute resolution process that could take months to complete. “It is indeed unfortunate that, after many years of hard work, consultation and collaborative problem solving this important strategy is being held up,” said Board Chair Lois Jackson. “Balancing local and regional responsibilities, controlling sprawl, focussing development – particularly employment – where it can be served by transit, preserving important agricultural lands and green spaces and ensuring the availability of industrial lands so critical to our economy, all of which the RGS does, is absolutely critical as we accommodate the next million people who will call Metro Vancouver home,” Chair Jackson said.Metro Vancouver is required under provincial legislation to prepare a regional growth management strategy in collaboration with its member municipalities. The legislation requires unanimous acceptance by all local authorities affected by the strategy, including neighbouring regional districts and Translink, and in the event unanimity is not reached, lays out a series of dispute resolution options. The Metro Vancouver Board resolved to ask the provincial government to proceed to binding resolution in an effort to expedite the process. “In a strategy of this nature it is inevitable that municipalities will identify concerns with some of its elements. With every municipality but one, we have been able to work through the specifics and arrive at mutually agreeable solutions,” according to Metro Vancouver’s Regional Planning Committee Chair Derek Corrigan. “In Coquitlam’s case, their objections seem far more directed at the intent of the legislation itself, rather than any particular components of the Regional Growth Strategy. We have, at the regional level, bent over backwards in an effort to accommodate Coquitlam without success. It is clear that only binding resolution will provide a solution.”