Zoning Bylaw changes permitting small-scale multi-unit housing in Burnaby now in effect

Last updated: July 2, 2024

Changes to the Zoning Bylaw, which came into effect July 1, 2024, meet a requirement of new provincial housing regulations

Burnaby’s amended Zoning Bylaw allowing increased density in residential neighbourhoods is now in effect. Starting July 1, 2024, residential lots previously zoned for single- or two-family homes are allowed to accommodate up to 3 or 4 housing units—depending on lot size—and lots near frequent transit service may accommodate up to 6 housing units. 

The Zoning Bylaw changes, driven by the Province’s new housing legislation, consolidate the City’s 12 existing Residential (R) Districts into one new R1 Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing District and rezone current R-District lots, and parts of split-zoned lots with R-District zoning, to the new R1 Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing District. One or more of the following forms can be constructed on an R1 lot, any of which could also contain a secondary suite:

  • Single-family homes (including laneway homes)
  • Duplexes 
  • Multiplexes (buildings with 3 or more primary units)
  • Cottage courts or cottage clusters (multiple single-family homes on the same lot)
  • Rowhouses

Secondary suites count towards the total number of units allowed on a lot.

Other changes now in effect include:

  • Residential parking minimums for lots within 400 metres of transit stops with frequent service (at least 15 minutes average frequency during core hours) are no longer required.
  • In addition to Development Cost Charges, Amenity Cost Charges will also be applied to all new residential development to help fund the infrastructure and amenities needed to support population growth.
  • Public hearings are prohibited for rezoning applications for primarily residential developments that are consistent with Burnaby’s Official Community Plan.

Council, at its meeting on June 24, tabled a bylaw designating transit-oriented areas (TOAs) for a minimum of 90 days. TOAs are the areas surrounding SkyTrain stations or bus exchanges where building heights from 8 to 20 storeys and densities ranging from 3.0 to 5.0 floor area ratio will be required to be permitted by provincial legislation, depending on the distance from the Skytrain station or bus exchange. 

Zoning Bylaw amendments to update existing multi-family residential (RM) zoning districts will be brought forward later in the year to create a more transparent, user-friendly development framework that provides clarity on building height and form.

Learn more:

Provincial housing legislation
Zoning Bylaw rewrite
Development Funding Program

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