A zoning bylaw is a living document that requires ongoing amendments to continue to meet municipal goals and objectives. Zoning bylaw updates are regularly undertaken by the City to implement new municipal policies, improve regulations, incorporate changes in Provincial or Federal legislation, and to address administrative issues.
The following is a list of current and completed projects.
A Zoning Bylaw Update is underway in accordance with Council’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. This project is a comprehensive update of the following topics:
- Density Bonus/Community Amenity Contribution (CAC)
Staff introduced the project to Council on December 14, 2020 (Report PDS 125-2020) and to Council Committees in January-February, 2021. Preliminary research was conducted and a summary of the early ideas being explored was presented to Council on April 19, 2021 (Report PDS 044-2021).
Similar to past projects, the Zoning Bylaw Update consists of several stages of work, including conducting research, facilitating community engagement and preparing new regulations. This work is anticipated to take approximately 18 months and be completed by mid-2022. As we work on this update process, details about the project and engagement opportunities will be added to this website and on Let’s Talk Abbotsford.
- New residential infill zones (RS3-i, RS3-ig, RS4-i and RS7)
- New cannabis store regulations
- Update to regulations for cannabis production facilities in the ALR (A-zones)
- New and updated zones to align with the OCP (RMG, RMR, RMM, RCS, CSCand P8)
- Updated accessible parking regulations
Minor housekeeping amendments are undertaken, as needed, to improve regulations and address administrative issues. The City has completed two comprehensive housekeeping amendments since the adoption of Zoning Bylaw No. 2400-2014. These amendments, completed in 2015 and 2016, included modifications to the Zoning Bylaw text and maps to provide greater clarity and consistency, address non-conforming situations, and resolve minor clerical issues.
A third housekeeping amendment is currently underway. A variety of minor items identified since 2016 are being addressed; including adjustments, clarifications, corrections and formatting. This project was introduced to Council on December 14, 2020 (Report PDS 125-2020) and to Council Committees in January-February, 2021. Upcoming tasks include preparing a Bylaw for Council’s consideration, and public consultation through a Public Hearing according to regular Zoning Bylaw amendment procedures. This work is anticipated to take approximately six months and be completed by mid-2021.
2014 Zoning Bylaw Update
The current Zoning Bylaw was prepared in 2013-2014 through a comprehensive administrative update of the previous 1996 Zoning Bylaw, with a focus on creating a legally-resilient, accessible and easily-understandable document. Zoning Bylaw No. 2400-2014 was adopted on September 15, 2014. View the 2014 Zoning Bylaw webpage for more information about the preparation of the 2014 Zoning Bylaw.
The previous Zoning Bylaw had not received a comprehensive review in nearly eighteen years, and as a result caused significant challenges to property and business owners proposing to make simple property improvements. These resulted in, but were not limited to:
- An increased number of variances on development applications; and
- An increased requirement for Comprehensive Development Zones (site specific customized zones).
The additional workload created by the 1996 Zoning Bylaw caused the City considerable staffing costs annually as well as increased the complexity of each development application, causing unnecessary complexities for a property owner. These updates are intended to simplify and clearly articulate the Zoning regulations for properties within the City of Abbotsford, with the exception of the former Area H lands, which remain regulated by the Sumas Mountain Rural Land Use Bylaw (500-1992).
- The preliminary directions approved by Council on February 17, 2014 are outlined in the Council Report PDS 017-2014, (with the exception of item 4.2 which was deferred following public consultation)
- Progress update to Council by Planning staff – June 9, 2014
- Community consultation regarding draft revised Bylaw – June 25, 2014
- Review feedback received from public – July 2014
- Consideration of final revised Zoning Bylaw, 1st and 2nd reading approved by Council – August 11, 2014
- Public Information Session – August 25, 2014
- Public Hearing and 3rd Reading granted by Council – August 25, 2014
- Bylaw adoption – September 15, 2014