Urban 3 Infill Study

Initiative Type

About the Urban Infill Study

“Urban infill” is about adding more homes to existing residential neighbourhoods in areas that are close to jobs, shopping and services. This includes:

  • Replacing an older house with a new house or a duplex
  • Subdividing a larger lot into smaller lots with smaller houses
  • Adding an accessory unit (secondary suite, garden suite or coach house)

The intent of urban infill is to add new homes in a gentle way that retains the character of existing neighbourhoods. Approximately 5,600 lots in Abbotsford are designated for this type of development in the 2016 Official Community Plan, known as Urban 3-Infill. From late 2017-2019, the City completed an Urban Infill Study to prepare regulations and policies for this area. Details about each stage of the planning process and the outcomes of the Study are provided below.

Stage 1 – Background

Stage 1 included data collection, research and analysis of existing conditions in the Urban 3-Infill area. Staff presented a summary of findings to Council on February 19, 2018 and received direction from Council to proceed with the Urban Infill Study.

View Council Report PDS 020-2018  for details about Stage 1, including a summary package and details about the interim approach for rezoning applications while the Study was underway. An information bulletin was released on February 20, 2018.

Stage 2 – Options

Stage 2 included the preparation of infill housing options and community engagement. Open Houses were held May 15, 2018 - May 17, 2018 to present the options and to hear feedback from the community. Information about the open houses is provided through the links below:

Staff presented a summary of community input to Council on June 18, 2018. View Council Report PDS 072-2018 for further detail.

Stage 3 – Regulations

Stage 3 included the preparation of OCP policy, zoning regulations and voluntary design guidelines. On July 23, 2018, staff presented a first draft to Council. Given the preliminary nature of the July 23, 2018 draft regulations – and the importance of ‘getting it right’ – staff were directed by Council to continue to research, prepare and test the draft material, and report back on the findings.

Staff presented an update to Council on May 6, 2019. This update included a summary of additional work completed since July 23, 2018, along with a refined set of draft policies and regulations.  

As directed by Council, staff prepared OCP and Zoning Amendment Bylaws (Bylaw No. 2923-2019, "Official Community Plan Bylaw, 2016, Amendment Bylaw No. 8" and Bylaw No. 2922-2019, "Abbotsford Zoning Bylaw, 2014, Amendment Bylaw No. 244"), to implement the Urban Infill Study and introduce the Bylaws on  May 27, 2019. Council gave the Bylaws 1st and 2nd readings and scheduled a public hearing.

On June 24, 2019, Council held a Public Hearing on the proposed OCP and Zoning Amendment Bylaws. After the Hearing, Council deliberated and gave the Bylaws 3rd reading. Council adopted the Bylaws on July 22, 2019. The new policies and regulations can be viewed through the links below:

  • Zoning Regulations:
    • Urban Residential Zone, Infill (RS3-i)
    • Urban Residential Zone, Infill Garden Suite (RS3-ig)
    • Duplex Residential Zone, Infill (RS4-i)
    • Infill Residential Zone (RS7)

A Housing Options Handout is available to help property owners identify which infill options may be possible on their site, based on the adopted policies and regulations. Voluntary Design Guidelines are also available to provide design ideas and inspiration for projects within the Infill Area. 

New RS3-i Zone Regulations

In July 2019, Council adopted four new residential infill zones as a result of the Urban Infill Study. This included a new base zone (RS3-i), which took affect within the Urban 3-Infill area on December 20, 2019. RS3-i replaced the existing RS3 zoning that previously applied to most infill properties. If you have any questions about this zoning change, please view the July 2019 Bulletin or contact staff at planning-info@abbotsford.ca or 604-864-5510.