Comprehensive Land Use Bylaw and Marine Zoning Bylaw

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The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is consolidating all of its electoral area zoning bylaws into a region-wide Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw (CZB). There are currently ten zoning bylaws, of which one is shared by electoral areas A and C, one marine bylaw (Electoral Area D only), and one contains the Development Permit Area Guidelines (DPAs).

The project will produce a much-needed consolidation of general regulations and definitions and establish a framework that will serve the administration of planning regulations well into the foreseeable future in the nine electoral areas.

What is a Zoning Bylaw?

Zoning bylaws are the main documents that regulate what a property can be used for, the density of development, and the size and siting of buildings. Zoning bylaws are enacted by the CVRD Board through authority granted by the Local Government Act. Zoning bylaws divide areas into zones for different types of land uses, such as residential, agricultural and commercial. The power to regulate through a zoning bylaw also includes the power for local governments to prohibit uses in a zone.

Zoning bylaws regulate:

  • Use of land, buildings and other structures
  • Density (i.e. the number of homes that can be built on one property)
  • Siting and size of buildings and other structures (i.e. height of buildings, setbacks from parcel lines)
  • Location of uses on the land and within buildings and other structures
  • Shape, dimensions and area of all parcels of land created by subdivision, which includes establishing minimum parcel sizes

Zoning bylaws implement the land use planning vision within the Official Community Plan (OCP) and therefore must align with the policy framework in an OCP.

Why is the CVRD consolidating its zoning bylaws?

The existing electoral area zoning bylaws were prepared at different times, ranging from the mid-1980s through to 2014, resulting in inconsistent bylaw definitions and regulations between electoral areas. In addition, legislative changes occur from time to time which necessitate bylaw maintenance.

The rationale for a new Comprehensive Land Use Bylaw includes:

  • Reducing the overall number of bylaws
  • Having one key land use document that a single maintenance amendment can update for all electoral areas, as opposed to – in some cases – 9 separate amendments
  • Making interpretation simpler for community members and those who administer the bylaw, through a single set of definitions and general regulations
  • Ensuring that zoning and related regulations effectively implement current OCP policy
  • Ensuring that the zones are consistent with the land use designations of the current OCP in force
  • Ensuring that the framework of zones allows for the introduction through time of new zones
  • Adding other land use regulations to the new bylaw, including the Sign Bylaw, Manufactured Home Park Bylaw, Campground Standards Bylaw, Off-Street Parking Bylaw, and new Landscape Standards.

A new Marine Zoning Bylaw is intended to enhance coordination, shared use and protection of marine coastal areas within the electoral areas.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is consolidating all of its electoral area zoning bylaws into a region-wide Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw (CZB). There are currently ten zoning bylaws, of which one is shared by electoral areas A and C, one marine bylaw (Electoral Area D only), and one contains the Development Permit Area Guidelines (DPAs).

The project will produce a much-needed consolidation of general regulations and definitions and establish a framework that will serve the administration of planning regulations well into the foreseeable future in the nine electoral areas.

What is a Zoning Bylaw?

Zoning bylaws are the main documents that regulate what a property can be used for, the density of development, and the size and siting of buildings. Zoning bylaws are enacted by the CVRD Board through authority granted by the Local Government Act. Zoning bylaws divide areas into zones for different types of land uses, such as residential, agricultural and commercial. The power to regulate through a zoning bylaw also includes the power for local governments to prohibit uses in a zone.

Zoning bylaws regulate:

  • Use of land, buildings and other structures
  • Density (i.e. the number of homes that can be built on one property)
  • Siting and size of buildings and other structures (i.e. height of buildings, setbacks from parcel lines)
  • Location of uses on the land and within buildings and other structures
  • Shape, dimensions and area of all parcels of land created by subdivision, which includes establishing minimum parcel sizes

Zoning bylaws implement the land use planning vision within the Official Community Plan (OCP) and therefore must align with the policy framework in an OCP.

Why is the CVRD consolidating its zoning bylaws?

The existing electoral area zoning bylaws were prepared at different times, ranging from the mid-1980s through to 2014, resulting in inconsistent bylaw definitions and regulations between electoral areas. In addition, legislative changes occur from time to time which necessitate bylaw maintenance.

The rationale for a new Comprehensive Land Use Bylaw includes:

  • Reducing the overall number of bylaws
  • Having one key land use document that a single maintenance amendment can update for all electoral areas, as opposed to – in some cases – 9 separate amendments
  • Making interpretation simpler for community members and those who administer the bylaw, through a single set of definitions and general regulations
  • Ensuring that zoning and related regulations effectively implement current OCP policy
  • Ensuring that the zones are consistent with the land use designations of the current OCP in force
  • Ensuring that the framework of zones allows for the introduction through time of new zones
  • Adding other land use regulations to the new bylaw, including the Sign Bylaw, Manufactured Home Park Bylaw, Campground Standards Bylaw, Off-Street Parking Bylaw, and new Landscape Standards.

A new Marine Zoning Bylaw is intended to enhance coordination, shared use and protection of marine coastal areas within the electoral areas.

Page last updated: 09 Jul 2024, 03:38 PM