Regulation redesign: simplifying rules for city building

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

Regulation Redesign 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

Get updates

* Indicates required fields

Contact us

Submit your ideas


Outcomes of Regulation Redesign will be:

  • An updated Zoning and Development By-law with a user-friendly format
  • More consistent regulations across district schedules
  • More clarity on the purpose of various land use documents (for example, guidelines, bulletins) and how they relate to each other and land use regulations

What's happening

Public Hearing on June 25

Council will consider the following proposed amendments to update, simplify, and clarify the City’s land-use regulations:

  • Consolidating regulations in sections 3, 4, and 5 of the Zoning and Development By-law on authorities, development permits, and the administration of relaxations and discretion into discrete sections; clarifying when the Development Permit Board reviews development applications; and updating relaxation authorities to allow both the Director of Planning and Development Permit Board to relax for unnecessary hardship
  • Adding a new definition for unnecessary hardship
  • Correcting terminology related to the application of relaxations and discretion throughout the by-law
  • Consolidating clauses that enable the variance of regulations for the retention of a character house in section 10
  • Introducing definitions for awning, balcony, enclosed balcony, deck, roof deck, canopy, covered entry, porch and verandah, and patio, and updating terms throughout the by-law (and various land use documents)
  • Updating and improving the consistency of regulations for decks, balconies and covered entries, porches, and verandahs
  • Making various housekeeping amendments to correct numbering and reference errors

Read the report (587 KB) presented at a Council meeting on May 27 for more information on the proposed amendments.

View the redline version of the amendments (10 MB)

Read the Council meeting agenda and watch and listen to a meeting

Submit comments and register to speak at a Public Hearing

Recent updates

Regulation redesign project updates

Open house and pop-ups February 19-27

Thank you to everyone who dropped into the open house and everyone who talked with staff at a pop-up event and for sending in your comments online. Your comments are invaluable and will be used to improve user-friendliness of the land use by-law, clarify regulations to provide more certainty, and making regulations more consistent so they are easier to understand.

Stay connected and receive project updates by signing up on our list serve. 

View the information boards  (1.3 MB)

Regulation redesign 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.


Here is our process and anticipated milestones

In each phase, we will consult with development and building industry professionals, builders, the broader public and staff.

  • 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

  • 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 2019-
    winter 2020

    Research, development, update regulations

    What we will do:

    • Develop guiding principles for new regulations
    • Create definitions for balconies, porches and decks, update and harmonize regulations
    • Develop options for a user-friendly zoning by-law format
    • Clarify the purpose and format of land use documents (for example, guidelines, bulletins)
    • Improve coordination of policy development and implementation through improved tracking
  • We are here
  • Spring 2020


    What we will do:

    • Report to Council with updated regulations and a recommended option for a user-friendly zoning by-law
    • Prototype and test new by-law structure and format
    • Begin drafting new zoning by-law
    • Ongoing regulatory updates to simplify and clarify regulations
    • Establish protocols and procedures for developing regulations and land use policies

    Public engagement opportunities

  • Winter 2021


    What we will do:

    • Report to Council with regulatory updates
    • Continue drafting and refining new zoning by-law
    • Develop implementation plan for introducing new by-law
    • Communicate protocols and procedures for developing regulations and policies

    Public engagement opportunities

  • Winter 2021


    What we will do:

    • Introduce new by-law: education and training programs

    Public engagement opportunities

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.