Regulation Redesign: Simplifying rules for city building

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Drawing of organized zoning document and buildings with height measurements.Image: Drawing of organized zoning document.Amendments to simplify height regulations approved by Council at Public Hearing on July 6, 2021.

Based on ideas and comments we heard at our June 2019 workshop on floor area and height regulations, we worked on amendments to simplify, clarify, and make our height regulations easier to understand. The proposed amendments include:

  • creating new definitions new definitions for building height and decorative roof
  • updating base surface definitions
  • updating section 10.18 height regulations to modernize language, provide more flexibility for roof access and roof-top amenity features and to clarify decorative roof regulations

To learn what the City is doing to modernize the zoning by-law format and language, visit Regulation Redesign: Modernizing the Zoning and Development By-law page on Shape Your City (survey deadline extended until July 13, 2021).


Drawing of organized zoning document and buildings with height measurements.Image: Drawing of organized zoning document.Amendments to simplify height regulations approved by Council at Public Hearing on July 6, 2021.

Based on ideas and comments we heard at our June 2019 workshop on floor area and height regulations, we worked on amendments to simplify, clarify, and make our height regulations easier to understand. The proposed amendments include:

  • creating new definitions new definitions for building height and decorative roof
  • updating base surface definitions
  • updating section 10.18 height regulations to modernize language, provide more flexibility for roof access and roof-top amenity features and to clarify decorative roof regulations

To learn what the City is doing to modernize the zoning by-law format and language, visit Regulation Redesign: Modernizing the Zoning and Development By-law page on Shape Your City (survey deadline extended until July 13, 2021).

  • Amendments to simplify height regulations and miscellaneous amendments approved by Council at Public Hearing on July 6, 2021

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    At a Public Hearing on July 6, Council approved amendments to update and clarify height regulations and make miscellaneous amendments to various by-laws and land use documents. These amendments will come into effect at the end of July 2021. The specific amendments include:

    • new definitions for building height and decorative roof in section 2 of the Zoning and Development By-law and a revision to the base surface definition;
    • updates to section 10.18 height regulations in the Zoning and Development By-law to modernize language, provide more flexibility for roof access and roof-top amenity features and clarify decorative roof regulations; and
    • miscellaneous amendments to various by-laws and land use documents to correct errors.


    Read the Council referral report and memorandum for more information on the changes.

  • Public hearing date set for July 6, 2021

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    On July 6, 2021, at a Public hearing, Regulation Redesign staff will present proposed amendments to update and clarify height regulations in the Zoning and Development By-law and make miscellaneous amendments to various by-laws and policy documents. These are incremental changes towards simplifying and clarifying the Ctiy's land use regulations.

    The following proposed amendments to regulations will be considered by Council:

    • Introduction of new definitions for building height and decorative roof to Section 2 of the Zoning and Development By-law and a revision to the base surface definition;
    • Updates to section 10.18 height regulations in the Zoning and Development By-law to modernize language, provide more flexibility for roof access and roof-top amenity features and clarify decorative roof regulations; and
    • Miscellaneous amendments to various by-laws and land use documents to correct errors.


    For more information on how to speak on the matter before Council or to send in comments, please visit this page.

  • Council Report Now Live

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    The project update report on the Regulation Redesign - Simplifying Height Regulations and Miscellaneous Amendments is now posted on the City's website and will go before Council on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

    If the report is referred to Public Hearing, further information on the date, time and how to sign up to speak or share your comments will be provided.

    View the agenda and watch/listen to a meeting at council.vancouver.ca

  • Project update to Council - June 8, 2021

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    On June 8, 2021 we will report to Council with a project update and the next round of proposed regulatory amends for referral to a future Public Hearing (to be scheduled), at which time public input on the proposed amendments will be received.

    The project update will be part of a multi-department presentation to Council on development and permit process improvements. The proposed amendments include simplifying height regulations and making various miscellaneous amendments to correct errors. These are incremental changes towards simplifying and clarifying the City's land use regulations.

    We will post the Council report when it becomes available to the public. If the report is referred to Public Hearing, further information on the date, time and how to sign up to speak or to share your comments will be provided.

    Visit covapp.vancouver.ca/councilMeetingPublic for Council meeting agendas and to watch/ listen to a meeting.

  • Project Updates

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    The comment form on the proposed amendments to simplify height regulations is now closed. Thank you for providing your feedback and sharing your thoughts. Staff are in the process of analyzing and summarizing the responses for Council's consideration as part of the upcoming report.

    Public Hearing Referral

    The anticipated public hearing referral date will be in June 2021. We will update you on the exact date as soon as the Council meeting is confirmed.

  • Project background

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    Project background

    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. The aim of this work is to:

    • Simplify and clarify land use regulations and policies to improve ease of use and clarity in order to reduce permit processing times.
    • Modernize and update the rules, language, and format or 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.


    Visit vancouver.ca/RegRedesign to learn more.

Page last updated: 01 September 2021, 16:35