Zoning regulates land use by designating properties for a specific range of uses, densities, siting and building form
If you—as a property owner or prospective buyer—want to use or develop land that isn't permitted under the current zoning, you'll need to apply to have the property's zoning changed. This process is called rezoning.
The City has two types of rezoning: standard rezoning and comprehensive development rezoning. Standard rezoning is where property changes from one zoning district to another, e.g. residential to commercial.
Comprehensive development rezoning is more complex. It means rezoning a property based on a site-specific rezoning bylaw, with a mixture of zoning districts and proposed variances to those districts.
A comprehensive development rezoning cannot vary the use or density permitted within a district. Comprehensive development zoning is required by commercial institutional, industrial, multiple-family residential, or mixed-use developments in line with adopted Community Plans and the City's Official Community Plan.
After you submit your rezoning application to the planning department, staff will review your proposal and make recommendations to the City Council. Council will examine the potential impacts that a change in land use or density would have on the local neighbourhood and the city.
With the help of City staff and input from the general public via a public hearing, council ensures the rezoning is consistent with the City's long-term community goals. The BC Local Government Act requires the council to review a rezoning bylaw 3 times before granting final adoption and rezoning approval.
Application processing time
- A standard rezoning application takes 4-6 months to process.
- A comprehensive development rezoning may take 12-24 months.
- A master plan comprehensive development zoning typically takes 24 to 36 months.
Single and two-family residential area rezoning process
The single and two-family residential area rezoning process provides property owners with an opportunity to suggest and initiate changes to the land use zoning of their neighbourhoods that:
- have the potential for small lot development (i.e. R4 or R5 to R12 or R12S districts)
- protect single-family neighbourhoods from larger houses (i.e. R10 and R11 districts)
- consider an adjustment in zoning boundaries where development is inconsistent with existing zoning (i.e. R2 to R3)
Explore the single and two-family residential area rezoning process for more information.