How rezoning applications are processed

After you submit a formal application to rezone a property, planning staff begin gathering input from other City departments, the public, and advisory groups (such as the Urban Design Panel and Vancouver Heritage Commission).

Informing the public

Soon after you apply for rezoning, you will be asked to install a yellow information sign on your site to alert the public to the application (details of sign requirements are provided by staff). 

Staff will also mail a letter to registered property owners within approximately two blocks of the site, to further inform them of the application.

Depending on the response to the sign and mail outs, the rezoning planner may hold an open house in the community to provide information about the application, and get the opinions of surrounding property owners and residents.

Evaluating the application and response

After the public has had a chance to respond, planning staff will evaluate your application, taking into consideration the input they received from other departments, the public, and advisory groups.

Staff will then write a report, which provides a complete analysis of the application, and a recommendation that it either be referred to a public hearing and approved, or refused.

  • If staff recommends that your application should be sent to public hearing and approved, the report is sent to a regular meeting of council
  • If staff recommends that your application should be refused, it is sent to a meeting of a council committee, where you are given the opportunity to speak to council directly about why you feel the application should be considered. At this point, council will either refuse the application, or refer it to a public hearing for further consideration.

Conditions of approval

When planning staff recommend approving a rezoning application, they frequently attach conditions of approval to it.

Some of these may be conditions that must be met before the rezoning bylaw is enacted, such as:

  • Legal agreements
  • Site consolidation
  • Servicing costs
  • Transfer of heritage density
  • Provision of community amenity
  • Dedication of land for transportation purposes 
For CD-1 rezonings, Council may also establish other conditions, usually pertaining to the form of development, that must be met prior to approval of a development permit for the proposed project.

How long does the application review process take?

The time to process a rezoning application can vary, depending on how complex your proposal is. 

While the average time required to process applications is nine months, this can be extended or reduced depending upon such factors as:

  • Issues raised during review
  • The need for public information meetings
  • Time for special impact studies, if required
  • The need for revisions
  • Time you may need to complete such revisions

Contact Planning Information


Rezoning and heritage conservation

Density incentives for developers

The City has developed a transferable density program that grants additional density to developers who agree to rehabilitate and legally protect any heritage buildings on their development sites.

Buying and selling heritage density

View the Transferable Heritage Density inventory to see all donor sites with density for sale in Vancouver.