Provincial Housing Legislation Changes

Density in Burnaby neighbourhoods and around transit hubs could increase as new provincial housing requirements come into effect

Last fall, the provincial government brought in new housing legislation with the aim of addressing affordability by increasing housing supply throughout BC, including in Burnaby. The new legislation will allow density increases beyond what has traditionally been permitted in Burnaby neighbourhoods. Starting July 1, 2024, in areas currently zoned for single- and two-family housing, “small-scale multi-unit housing” of up to 4 units will now be allowed on most lots. In areas near frequent transit service, as many as 6 units will be permitted.

The legislation also calls for increased density in “transit-oriented areas” (TOAs), which are the areas surrounding SkyTrain stations and bus exchanges. The new rules require Burnaby to approve building heights from 8 to 20 storeys in TOAs, depending on the distance from the station or exchange.


What else you need to know

In addition to allowing increased density in Burnaby’s neighbourhoods and around transit hubs, the new provincial housing legislation introduces other changes, including:

  • Off-street parking will no longer be required for lots located in areas where frequent transit service is offered.
  • Municipalities are no longer authorized to hold public hearings for residential projects that conform to the City’s Official Community Plan.
  • A new amenity cost charge (ACC) can now be levied by municipalities to help fund facilities needed to service a growing population, such as recreational and community centres, senior and youth centres, and child care facilities.

The City wants to ensure you’re aware of the new housing regulations and how they will impact the growth and character of Burnaby. For more information, visit these related web pages and check out the Questions and Answers section below.

Questions and answers


Examples of small-scale multi-unit housing, as defined in the new provincial legislation, include (but are not limited to):

  • secondary suites in single-family dwellings
  • detached accessory dwelling units like garden suites or laneway homes
  • duplexes (side-by-side or up/down)
  • triplexes and multiplexes
  • townhomes

Small-scale multi-unit housing offers housing options that are accessible by ground-level exterior entrances and are compatible in scale and form with established single- and two-family neighbourhoods.

After July 1, on lots currently zoned for single- and two-family housing, urban communities like Burnaby are required to allow:

  • up to 3 units on residential lots up to 280 square metres (3,014 square feet)
  • up to 4 units on residential lots greater than 280 square metres (3,014 square feet) (most residential lots in Burnaby are this size)
  • up to 6 units on residential lots at least 281 square metres (3,025 square feet) and in areas located 400 metres of bus stops with frequent service (15 minutes or less)

For more information on small-scale multi-unit housing and the changes in required density download and read the City’s Summary of Proposed Regulations.

Transit-oriented areas (TOAs) are those areas within 800 metres of SkyTrain stations and 400 metres of bus exchanges. The new legislation specifies the minimum densities and heights the City is required to allow for residential and mixed-used residential buildings in TOAs, as follows: 

Transit hub type Distance Minimum height (storeys) Minimum density (Floor Area Ratio) Type of Building
Rapid transit station Less than 200 m 20 5.0 Tower
201 m to 400 m 12 4.0 Mid-High Rise
401 m to 800 m 8 3.0 Mid-Rise
Bus exchange Less than 200 m  12 4.0 Mid-High Rise
201 m to 400 m 8 3.0 Low-Rise/Townhouse


As of July 1, the City will no longer be able to require off-street parking spaces for developments within 400 metres of a frequent service (15 minutes or less) bus stop. Parking will be determined by the builder, based on the perceived need. As residential zones densify, new strategies may be needed to better manage on-street parking.

The City will not be able to require minimum residential off-street parking spaces for buildings within TOAs, except for use by disabled persons. Parking supply will be determined by market need and demand. This restriction does not apply to non-residential (i.e. commercial) off-street parking requirements. 

City infrastructure and amenities

The increased density that may result from the new provincial housing legislation is expected to require significant upgrades to municipal infrastructure, such as water and sewer line capacity, and electrical services. 

If population density increases beyond existing projections, we’ll need to plan for more amenities such as community centres, daycares, libraries and parks. We’ll be considering these potential impacts as we update the Official Community Plan.

The provincial housing legislation provides new financial tools, including additional Development Cost Charges (DCCs) and a new Amenity Cost Charge (ACC), to fund the projects required as our city grows. As part of our current update of the Official Community Plan we will define the amenities and services we’ll need to support residential growth in Burnaby in the years ahead.

Public hearings

As part of the new provincial legislation, municipalities are no longer allowed to hold public hearings for development proposals that are primarily residential and consistent with the Official Community Plan. As primarily residential projects make up about 90% of the public hearing agenda, there will be few if any public hearings outside of those mandated in legislation. The City is looking at other means of obtaining community input on development including obtaining broad based feedback on the City’s Official Community Plan update. 

While public hearings will be less frequent, signage will still be erected on the subject property for each rezoning application and affected parties within 30 metres will still be notified of the application by mail. Information on each application will also be posted on the City’s website, and City staff will be available to answer questions in person or by mail, email or phone.


As higher densities could impact property values, and as property values are one of the factors in determining property tax rates, your property taxes could be affected by these changes. BC Assessment, which is the provincial agency responsible for determining assessed property values, would be in the best position to answer this question. The City will monitor any adjustments to assessed values and will continue to work to keep property taxes as low as possible.

For more information on how assessment values affect property taxes, watch this video explainer

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