Land Use Planning

Land use plans and zoning by-laws set the direction for development in Manitoba municipalities.

In agricultural areas, these plans and by-laws are required to sustain the industry by:

  • preserving agricultural land for agricultural uses, now and in the future
  • protecting agricultural operations from encroachment by incompatible land uses

The local planning process

Every local government creates a development plan, which sets out objectives and policies to guide future land use. For example, an area most suitable for food production should be designated as an agriculture area, making it off-limits for anything other than agriculture and resource-related uses.

A local government then creates a zoning by-law, which:

  • divides the municipality into land use zones
  • sets out criteria for each zone’s development and operation (for example, minimum site area and separation distance requirements)
  • establishes permitted and conditional uses within each zone

Manitoba Agriculture participates at every stage and provides technical input, making sure the province’s goals for agricultural areas are upheld.

Why producers should get involved

These decisions can have a significant impact on production practices, siting, land values and expansion plans. By getting involved in the planning process, producers can help local governments protect existing farm operations and agricultural opportunities for the future. If you are a Manitoba farmer, you should watch for proposed changes and make your views known.

Resources for farmers

Land Use Planning for Agriculture (PDF 208 KB) outlines the planning process in Manitoba, the purpose of the Provincial Land Use Policies, and informs producers of considerations for their farm operations and how to provide input into the local planning process.

Land Use Planning for Livestock (PDF 273 KB) explains the livestock-related requirements of The Planning Act, local governments’ responsibilities regarding livestock operations and how producers can represent agriculture as local plans are developed.

Quota Increases and Municipal Conditional Use Approval (PDF 349 KB) provides guidance to dairy producers regarding the Municipal conditional use approval process for dairy operations and how it applies to quota increases, including minor annual quota adjustments.

Resources for planners and municipalities

The Provincial Planning Regulation Portal provides resources to support municipalities, planning districts and others involved with local planning. This portal will take you to the Planning for Agriculture Resource Guide (PDF 988 KB) and the Manitoba Agriculture publication Living, Playing and Working in Farming Communities (PDF 269 KB).

Living, Playing and Working in Farming Communities (PDF 269 KB) informs those establishing in rural areas of the realities of farming and the potential conflicts that can arise between residential or recreational development and farming activities. Municipalities are encouraged to use and distribute this publication.

Specific information on the use of Soils Information for Planning Purposes is available in the Soil Management Guide

Laws and regulations

The Planning Act sets out roles and responsibilities for local governments as they develop land use plans and zoning by-laws.

The Provincial Planning Regulation enacts the Provincial Land Use Policies (PLUPs) and sets out requirements for development plans and livestock operations. The PLUPs are based on the principles of sound land use planning, and are intended to guide land use and development decisions. Agriculture is one of nine policy areas described in the PLUPs. 

For more information

Contact your local Manitoba Agriculture Office.