Maple Ridge, BC: Council has passed an updated Zoning Bylaw that improves usability, relevancy and sustainability while recognizing substantial changes in development over the last 35 years.
This modern and user-friendly version of the bylaw is only the third version of the document in the City’s history. The Zoning Bylaw serves as the specific framework for growth envisioned in the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP). The technical information in the bylaw helps regulate the form and character of neighbourhoods, ensuring they’re built in a predictable manner.
“This represents a significant improvement over our current bylaw, which we’ve been using since 1985,” said Christine Carter, General Manager of Planning & Development Services. “It’s been a long road to get to this approved. I’m incredibly proud of the hard work and tenacity of staff who’ve worked on this project.”
City planners performed a complete refresh of the original 207-page document and made a number of changes, which include:
- reducing the need for variance requests
- enhancing sustainability requirements
- establishing new, modern principal uses
- introducing graphics and illustrations to improve ease of use and understanding
- including electronic hyperlinks to easily navigate the document and find definitions
- adding a Table of Contents for the first time
- standardizing and simplifying language
The bylaw also corrects small zoning boundary irregularities for about 200 properties and rezones other properties to align with existing use.
Staff consulted with the public, the Province, local First Nations, School District No. 42, the Urban Development Institute and the Home Builders Association of Vancouver. Many of these groups provided feedback that was implemented in the new bylaw. It was also reviewed by the City Solicitor and deemed to be legally enforceable.
Staff will review the new bylaw after one year and report their findings to Council, as is standard practice whenever the City introduces new policy legislation.