Regulation redesign: simplifying rules for city building

Updated and simplified land use regulations and policies will result in more streamlined review processes.

We've started a comprehensive review of our land regulations and related policy documents and processes for planning, development, and building.

The aim of the review is to:

  • Simplify, clarify, and update regulations
  • Improve the consistency of regulations and policies
  • Streamline permit review processes and establish a framework to coordinate policy development
  • Ensure land use regulations align with our emerging policies and priorities
  • Improve communication and information sharing

View the Regulation Redesign presentation (1.1 MB) which contains background information on the project's key objectives.

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Recent updates

Stakeholder workshop

June 19 – over 65 stakeholders attended a workshop to explore ideas and identify alternatives for simplifying floor area and building height regulations.  

Amendments to Zoning and Development By-law approved

June 11 – at public hearing, Council approved amendments to create a more user-friendly and up-to-date Zoning and Development By-law. The amendments were enacted and effective as of July 9.

The specific amendments are:

  • Simplify and update the regulations by reformatting Sections 2, 10 and 11 of the by-law
  • Update references to sections 10 and 11 throughout the by-law (and in various official development plans, policies, and guidelines)
  • Replace gendered terminology with gender neutral language
  • Clarify the height regulations in the I-3 District Schedule
  • Clarify the applicability of housing requirements for floor area increases achieved through heritage transfer or heritage amenity shares in the C-5A and C-6 districts

Regulation redesign presents new zoning webpages

Zoning and Development By-law
The landing page for the Zoning and Development By-law containing general information on the by-law and its functions.

Zoning and land use document library
Your single reliable source of land use regulations and policies currently in effect.

Zoning and land use amendments
Your single reliable source outlining recent changes to the City's land use by-laws, policies, guidelines, and bulletins.

Project update to Council

May 15 –  staff presented Council with a project update and some proposed amendments to create a more user-friendly and up-to-date Zoning and Development By-law and to make it easier to find land use information.

The report recommends that the matter be referred to Public Hearing in June, at which time the public will have the opportunity to speak to Council about the proposed amendments.


Here is our process and anticipated milestones

  • Spring -
    winter 2018

    Phase 1: Project Start Up

    What we are doing:

    • Review regulatory framework and best practices
    • Public consultation, listening sessions, kiosk at the development and building services centre, stakeholder roundtable, pop-up events in the community
    • Seek feedback to identify issues and ideas of the current land use zoning and development regulatory framework

    Who we’ll consult with:

    • Development and building industry professionals, builders, and the broader public
  • Spring 2019

    Phase 2: Develop options and directions

  • We are here
  • What we will do:

    • Prioritize issues and explore options based on findings in Phase 1
    • Report to Council with options and directions

    Who we'll consult with:

    • Development and building industry professionals, builders, and the broader public

  • Fall -
    winter 2019

    Phase 3: Initiate implementation

    What we will do:

    • Amendments to simplify regulations and review processes
    • Strategy for ongoing rationalization

What is Zoning?

Watch the video to learn more: Zoning 101

Zoning and Development By-law

The Zoning and Development By-law 3575 establishes regulations for the development of land in the City of Vancouver.

Housing Vancouver strategy

Learn how our 10-year strategy provides a strong foundation for the future in Vancouver.