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The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) and Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) last week unveiled new land use guidelines and a website designed to promote best practices and awareness about the issues associated with developments near railways."Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations" builds on guidelines introduced in 2004, RAC and FCM officials said in a joint statement. Guidelines and best practices were developed by the FCM/RAC Proximity Initiative with the help from such stakeholders as government agencies, railroads and municipal urban planners.The updated guidelines address issues concerning noise, vibration and safety, and focus on the increasing challenges associated with new residential development, RAC and FCM officials said."We hope the new guidelines will help governments to create or update their policies, regulations and standards for new residential development in proximity to rail operations in order to apply best practices and create consistency across the country," said FCM/RAC Proximity Initiative Co-Chair and Southwest Middlesex Mayor Doug Reycraft.The guidelines also review common issues that can arise when communities and railways are in close proximity, and offer mitigation recommendations and implementation mechanisms for new developments. The new website features a user-friendly layout with increased functionality, updated issue lists and definitions, and a complete reference section, RAC and FCM officials said."The railway industry aims to be a good neighbor and, as residential development continues to grow around rail operations, it is essential that municipalities across the country are aware of best practices pertaining to the intersection of property development and rail operations," said Sean Finn, FCM/RAC Proximity Initiative co-chair, and CN's executive vice president of corporate services and chief legal officer.