Victoria’s new downtown zoning aims to be easier for property owners to understand. The proposed new zones have been simplified down from 82 types. (City of Victoria map)

New Victoria zoning bylaw would cut red tape for developers, downtown property owners

Complex zoning laws made easier to navigate under proposed regulations

The days of confusing rezoning applications for Victoria property owners could be over if the city council approves a new downtown zoning bylaw.

Something as simple as an addition to a building or business can leave people swimming through mountains of paperwork. Searching for the zoning details for a particular plot of land often ends up in the hands of Victoria’s planning tech staff, who spend as much as half their working hours checking rezoning bylaws, according to Jonathan Tinney, City director of sustainable planning and community development.

Although Victoria is relatively small, and the downtown even smaller, the city’s zoning system is complex. The new bylaw, as presented, tackles the downtown core area, but changes for the rest of the city are also in the works, Tinney said.

“[Victoria’s] zoning bylaw has almost 800 different types of zones with different regulations attached to each of them,” he said.

“We have about 82 different zones that cover different parcels in the downtown core. But if we look at the plan, there’s really only a handful of different uses.”

Based on that, the downtown can be simplified into, generally, just three types of zones, Tinney said.

In the 1970s, the City decided to tailor each type of zone to the type of development being proposed, but what it created is complicated and difficult to navigate today.

What property owners can do, for the most part, won’t change. But changes will make it easier for downtown businesses and developers to navigate the system, saving staff time and money in the process.

“The big thing, I think, is for building owners and property owners in the downtown it will be much easier for them to understand what they can and cannot do, without having to go through reams and reams of paper and have to talk to City staff to help them decipher it.”

Recent off-street parking requirements proposed will also be included in Zoning Bylaw 2017.

The date for the public hearing on the new bylaw has not been set.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

School strike: SD63 says grade 12 students ‘will not lose their graduation year’

Parents, students concerned about educational impact of CUPE 441 strike

Cineplex to show free holiday movies to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Community Day will be on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at select theatres

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s second steel shipment arrives safely

The GVHA’s original shipment was lost at sea in December 2018

VicPD arrest one person after alleged assault in Victoria

Officers responded to the 1000-block of Pandora on Tuesday

Victoria police pilot e-tickets for its traffic division

Digitized tickets can now be paid for online

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Woman airlifted with serious injuries after being struck by car in Nanaimo

Woman, hit in crosswalk, suffers life-threatening injuries; driver co-operating with police

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

One dead after fiery crash in Duncan

A man has died after a fiery motor vehicle collision Monday night,… Continue reading

Most Read