Regulation Redesign: Updated Zoning and Development By-law

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Updates to the Zoning and Development By-law in effect November 14, 2022.

Council approved changes that will make it easier to find and use information contained within the Zoning and Development By-law on July 5, 2022. The updated by-law will be in effect November 14, 2022.

Updates include improved document navigation, enhanced document accessibility features, and clearer rules with diagrams and tables.

Find your zoning district or review zoning and land use documents, including the Zoning and Development By-law, official development plans, policies, guidelines and bulletins by visiting the zoning and land use document library.

We want to ensure that everyone has access to the updated Zoning and Development By-law. If you are unable to view or read the documents send an email to regredesign@vancouver.ca or call 3-1-1.

In Fall 2018 we launched the Regulation Redesign 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.

Updates to the Zoning and Development By-law in effect November 14, 2022.

Council approved changes that will make it easier to find and use information contained within the Zoning and Development By-law on July 5, 2022. The updated by-law will be in effect November 14, 2022.

Updates include improved document navigation, enhanced document accessibility features, and clearer rules with diagrams and tables.

Find your zoning district or review zoning and land use documents, including the Zoning and Development By-law, official development plans, policies, guidelines and bulletins by visiting the zoning and land use document library.

We want to ensure that everyone has access to the updated Zoning and Development By-law. If you are unable to view or read the documents send an email to regredesign@vancouver.ca or call 3-1-1.

In Fall 2018 we launched the Regulation Redesign 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.

  • 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: 16 Jan 2023, 10:13 AM