City to Modernize Zoning Bylaw

April 04, 2023   

The City of North Vancouver is launching a two-year project to update its Zoning Bylaw to make it easier for users who need to work with the bylaw when making decisions about property and land use. 

The City’s first Zoning Bylaw was adopted in 1953, replaced in 1967 and then updated again in 1995, with minor amendments. The project is anticipated to complete at the end of 2024.

In a presentation to Council April 3, City staff noted the modernization of the the current Zoning Bylaw will address known challenges, make it more responsive to changing community needs, increase clarity and usability, and support Council’s vision to become the “healthiest small city in the world.”

Shifting to a Modern Approach

The modernized Zoning Bylaw will be modelled on a form-based approach, which is design-focused with increased attention on building form and how it shapes the public realm. A form-based approach is considered a best practice compared to conventional zoning bylaws for regulating land development and achieving policy goals.

These updates will allow more flexibility and creativity to enable innovative and adaptable responses to emerging and future opportunities. A form-based Zoning Bylaw also supports other important considerations such as universal design, equity and sustainability. 

Improvements to Bylaw Communication and Process 

Modernizing the Zoning Bylaw will involve improvements like streamlining the development and permitting process and simpler content navigation.

Unlike the current bylaw, which is heavy on text and technical jargon, the modernized bylaw will be communicated more visually, with drawings and diagrams, offering user-friendly print and interactive online formats, and more accessible language. 

Community Input to Inform Bylaw Updates

Throughout the two-year process to update the Zoning Bylaw, the City will be engaging with impacted groups and the wider community, as well as analyzing technical and best practices to propose a draft bylaw. 

Staff will engage with various groups over the spring and summer and expect to report to Council with a summary of this work in the fall. 

More information about the project is available at

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