Regulation Redesign: Draft Updated Zoning and Development By-law

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We want to ensure that everyone has access to the information on the amendments being proposed. Should you have any difficulty accessing or understanding the content on this page, send an email to regredesign@vancouver.ca or call 3-1-1.

If you are unable to view or read the documents, contact us for an alternate format.


In Fall 2018 we launched the Regulation Redesign project to create a more user-friendly and up-to-date Zoning and Development By-law. It is a project to simplify the City of Vancouver's land use regulations, policies and online tools to support the streamlining of permit processing. This webpage provides a one-stop location where you can learn about the project progress, share your input and stay up to date on engagement opportunities.

Draft updated Zoning and Development By-law engagement is now closed

From April 22 to May 6, 2022, we presented the draft updated Zoning and Development By-law for public review and input. The proposed improvements include user-friendly format, organization and wording to make regulations clearer and easier to find. Our work to clarify the By-law will not affect what you can build or renovate.

Learn more about the draft updated Zoning and Development By-law

Please monitor our webpage for updates or contact us at regredesign@vancouver.ca to ask a question on the Draft Updated Zoning and Development By-law.

We want to ensure that everyone has access to the information on the amendments being proposed. Should you have any difficulty accessing or understanding the content on this page, send an email to regredesign@vancouver.ca or call 3-1-1.

If you are unable to view or read the documents, contact us for an alternate format.


In Fall 2018 we launched the Regulation Redesign project to create a more user-friendly and up-to-date Zoning and Development By-law. It is a project to simplify the City of Vancouver's land use regulations, policies and online tools to support the streamlining of permit processing. This webpage provides a one-stop location where you can learn about the project progress, share your input and stay up to date on engagement opportunities.

Draft updated Zoning and Development By-law engagement is now closed

From April 22 to May 6, 2022, we presented the draft updated Zoning and Development By-law for public review and input. The proposed improvements include user-friendly format, organization and wording to make regulations clearer and easier to find. Our work to clarify the By-law will not affect what you can build or renovate.

Learn more about the draft updated Zoning and Development By-law

Please monitor our webpage for updates or contact us at regredesign@vancouver.ca to ask a question on the Draft Updated Zoning and Development By-law.

  • Draft updated Zoning and Development By-law engagement is now closed

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    From April 22 to May 6, 2022, we presented the draft updated Zoning and Development By-law for public review and input. The proposed improvements to the By-law would apply to the administrative sections, general regulations sections and general district schedules. The improvements include user-friendly format, organization and wording to make regulations clearer and easier to find. Our work to clarify the By-law will not affect what you can build or renovate.

    New formatting features include:

    • Enhanced document navigation and accessibility
    • Clear rules with explanatory diagrams
    • Consolidated rules
    • Document standards

    Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. Your feedback, combined with other input, will be made public and included in the engagement summary report to Council in June 2022. Please monitor this page and the Regulation Redesign project page for updates.

  • Draft Updated Zoning and Development By-law

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    The proposed draft administrative sections, general regulations sections and district schedules of the Zoning and Development By-law are available for review. Please click on the link to view the new format of each draft document. Note: hyperlinks within the draft documents link to a current version of the Zoning and Development By-law. The contents of the documents are being finalized and may change based on feedback received.

    Administrative sections and general sections

    1. Administration
    2. Definitions
    3. Authorities
    4. Development permits
    5. By-law relaxations and powers of discretion
    6. Amendments to the by-law
    7. General prohibitions
    8. Building lines
    9. Zoning districts
    10. General regulations
    11. Use-specific regulations
    12. Enforcement
    13. Penalties
    14. Repeal of previous by-laws
    15. Effective date of by-law


    Zoning district schedules

    Agricultural district


    Commercial districts


    Historic area districts


    Industrial districts


    Rental districts


    Residential districts


  • Digital Zoning Map

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    We are excited to present a new digital zoning map to help you find zoning information faster. The Digital Zoning Map is a simpler way to visualize and access zoning information. The map is a consolidated convenience version of the Zoning District Plan, which is part of the Zoning and Development By-law.

    Explore the Digital Zoning Map! Complete the survey within the Digital Zoning Map to share your thoughts.

  • Upcoming engagement opportunity: April 22 - May 6, 2022

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    We will be presenting a draft updated Zoning and Development By-law, with proposed reformatted administrative sections, general regulations sections and district schedules for a user-friendly

    By-law. The changes involve improvements to the format, organization, and wording to make the regulations clearer and easier to administer. Modifications to the By-law for clarity do not affect what you can build or renovate on your property.

    Mark your calendars and please check back April 22 for new materials and ways you can engage.

    Information session - April 27, 2020 I 10:00am - 11:00am

    Join us online to learn about the proposed improvements to make the City of Vancouver's Zoning and Development By-law more clear and more accessible.

    Register now to attend

  • Engagement summary - district schedule prototype

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    We presented a proposed new district schedule format (using RM district schedules as examples), updated wording and new defined terms, and asked for public feedback on removing outdated regulations from June 15 to July 13, 2021. Read the engagement summary for results of the consultation. This summary includes information on the project process to date and a summary of what we heard.

    Our next steps are to review and refine the proposed format and wording based on what we heard. In 2022, we will present a draft reformatted Zoning and Development By-law for Council's consideration at Public Hearing.

    To receive updates, please sign-up to our mailing list on the side panel. Visit the project webpage at vancouver.ca/RegRedesign for opportunities to engage and to stay up-to-date on the project.

  • Testing of the new district schedules format and language

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    In the spring and fall of 2021, we hired local architectural and design firms to test drafts of the reformatted RS, RT and RM district schedules and provide feedback on the improvements to finding and understanding the regulations. The key findings are:

      • New wayfinding features, such as colour-coded markers and quick-reference hyperlinks, are helpful to navigating the district schedule and related regulations and policies
      • Explanatory diagrams are useful to understand complex regulations
      • Information is reorganized in a way that provides clarity and succinctness
      • Support removal or updating of outdated regulations to reflect current practices


    They identified additional opportunities for further clarification and simplification of regulations. Some of those outcomes were presented in the sample reformatted district schedules presented on Shape Your City, June 15 – July 6, 2021. Additional regulatory updates are being developed and will be presented with the draft fully reformatted by-law for public input on Shape Your City in Spring 2022.

    Engagement materials:

  • Engagement Summary - project launch

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    Since the Regulation Redesign Project launched in 2018, our engagement results have highlighted the need to modernize the zoning by-law to clearly communicate complex regulations. The issues identified through our consultation with the development industry, public and staff were consistently:

      • We can’t find the information that they need
      • Even when we can find information, it’s hard to understand
      • Information conflicts within the by-law and across regulations and policies
      • The rules are inconsistently applied


    To bring forward a modernized zoning by-law format, Regulation Redesign conducted workshops with industry members and staff to develop a set of guiding principles and objectives for a user-friendly by-law and prototype options for a new district schedule format. Virtual focus groups were held with approximately 150 industry, public and staff participants in the summer and fall of 2020 to gather feedback and further refine the district schedule prototype.

  • Background on the Regulation Redesign Project

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    Modernizing the Zoning and Development By-law is one of three work streams of the Regulation Redesign project. The current Zoning and Development By-law was adopted by City Council in 1956. It has been amended extensively but a comprehensive review has never been undertaken. The by-law has grown more complex over the years in order to implement the City’s goals and priorities. Some of the more than 8,000 amendments to the original 1956 by-law have introduced new terminology or regulations that have resulted in inconsistencies with other parts of the by-law or with other City by-laws. The growing complexity of the City’s land use framework including regulations, plans, policies and guidelines has made it difficult to find and understand information, which results in a complicated permit review process and long review times.

    Regulation Redesign, a priority project in the City's 2020 Corporate Plan, is a comprehensive review of our land use regulations and related policy documents. Making the City's regulations more consistent and easier for residents, businesses and staff to find and understand will assist with streamlining permit approvals.

    Key objectives of the project are to:

    • Simplify and clarify land use regulations to improve ease of use and clarity in order to reduce permit processing times
    • Modernize and update the rules, language, and format of land use documents; and the processes to create/amend them
    • Improve consistency among land use policies and regulations
    • Improve external and internal communication on the land use planning framework and its systems
    • Establish a robust and enduring land use framework (including regulations, policies, protocols, and procedures) that is able to adapt well into the future


    This work is aligned with other projects to improve review processes, including the Development Process Redesign and service improvements being co-ordinated by the Development, Buildings and Licensing and Engineering Departments. The project does not include substantive zoning or policy amendments, however the project works closely with staff teams leading that work to ensure co-ordination.


Page last updated: 11 May 2022, 09:18 AM