People reading and discussing information on panels at an open house

Rezoning process and how to get involved

Rezoning process

We consult with the public to develop community plans and zoning policies that:

  • Set out the long-term vision, future growth, and amenities of a community
  • Regulate how land gets developed through zoning, including the use (such as an office) and physical form (such as height)
  • Outline where we consider rezoning applications and what development we allow on a site

We present plans and policies to City Council to decide on.

Read about zoning and view zoning maps

Example of planning policy: The physical form of a development site we allow under current zoning (the blue box), and the taller physical form that we consider under rezoning policy (the purple box stacked on top).

A rezoning does not mean we'll accept any proposal. We require a rezoning application when development proposals don’t follow existing zoning policies.

We review each rezoning application to check that it meets the rezoning policies for the areas, including any related policies.

We consider all comments from the public and civic committees. We make a recommendation to City Council to approve, modify, or refuse the application, and summarize the feedback we heard.

City Council holds a public hearing to decide on the application.

Example of a rezoning proposal: The use and physical form of the development (the blue and purple structure) needs to follow policy (the surrounding box with the dotted line)
 

After City Council approves a rezoning application, applicants can apply for a development permit to build.

This completes the project design and delivery of public benefits, such as parks, community facilities, social housing, street upgrades, and more.

Example of a future neighbourhood following a rezoning: Conditions of the rezoning meant the developer provided a new park, new playground, and street upgrades for the community.

 

Types of rezoning

The Marine Gateway mixed-use development was allowed due to a Comprehensive Development District rezoning

Site-specific zones

Comprehensive Development (CD-1) District rezonings create new zoning districts to allow for certain uses or forms of development on specific sites.

City Council may set certain conditions that the developer has to meet (such as legal agreements or design guidelines), before Council grants the rezoning or before we issue a development permit.

Illustration of a mixed-use development streetscape on the former Oakridge Transit Centre site, allowed based on a plan amendment rezoning

Plan changes

Plan amendment rezonings change an area's zoning from one district to another (for example, from RS-1 to RS-5).

We use these rezonings to carry out community or area plans.

The infill housing at 1523 Davie Street is built under a text amendment rezoning for minor changes in the form of development permitted on site.

Text changes

Text amendment rezonings change what's allowed within existing zoning areas, including official development plans or CD-1 zones.

This can range from minor changes to what is currently permitted (such as height, density, or permitted uses) to a comprehensive development of a site.

 

Get involved – earlier is best

There are three to four ways to give your feedback about a rezoning application.

  1. Attend the pre-application open house (optional)
  2. Attend the application open house
  3. Comment online
  4. Speak at the public hearing

Commenting early helps us consider if the application needs to be revised before the public hearing and City Council decision.

We read all comments to inform our review of the application. We summarize all of the feedback for City Council to consider at the public hearing.

1 Attend the pre-application open house (optional)

Two women reading and discussing information presented at a rezoning pre-application open house

We ask rezoning applicants to make a preliminary rezoning enquiry so that we can review their proposal before they apply for rezoning.

Based on our review, we may ask applicants to host a pre-application open house to get early input from the community.

Applicants invite nearby residents to the open house by mail. Pre-application open houses are not listed on our website.

At the open house, the applicant presents early design ideas of their rezoning proposal. They also ask for feedback to consider in preparing their rezoning application.

2 Attend the City-hosted open house

Example of a notice of rezoning application postcard that includes a proposal summary, map, website, and contact

After an applicant submits a rezoning application, we host an open house in the early stages of reviewing their proposal.

We announce the open house with about two weeks' notice on our website and by mailing a postcard to neighbouring residents (generally within a two-block radius of the site).

At the open house, we present the rezoning application and ask for your feedback.

3 Comment online

Close-up of a person's hands typing on a laptop computer

Each rezoning application has a quick online comment form to gather your feedback about the proposal.

Map of rezoning applications

List of rezoning applications

4 Speak at the public hearing

View of City Council Chambers from the speaker's podium

Request to speak at the meeting where City Council decides to approve, modify, or refuse a rezoning application.

Public hearing agendas are announced one to two weeks prior, as follows:

  1. Council meetings app
  2. Local newspaper ad (usually the Vancouver Courier)
  3. Postcard mailed to registered property owners within two blocks of the site (for most rezoning applications)

Request to speak at a meeting

Learn about public hearings