Zoning Bylaw Rewrite

UPDATE – DECEMBER 2017: At the November 27th Council Meeting following the Public Hearing, Council passed a motion to defer Third Reading of the new Zoning Bylaw. Council directed staff to amend the new bylaw to allow site specific automotive sales at 439 and 461 Trans Canada Highway (the location of two existing car dealerships). For links to the full minutes of each meeting, please refer to the Council, Committee of the Whole, and Public Hearing Minutes section below. Staff will bring the revised bylaw, along with a staff report, to an upcoming Council Meeting.

Zoning Bylaws regulate what you can and cannot do on a property, and the bylaw divides the City into a number of zones. The current Zoning Bylaw, adopted in 1988 and amended 73 times, no longer achieves the vision of the 2007 Official Community Plan (OCP). Within the proposed Zoning Bylaw, the entire array of zones and their associated land uses have been revised to be more consistent with the vision of the OCP and other City policies.

Overview & Highlights

The new Zoning Bylaw will:

  • reduce overall number of zones from 16 to 8, with each zone allowing for more flexibility;
  • be more user-friendly by utilizing a table of contents, intuitive layout, logical zone names and metric dimensions;
  • include definitions that are concise and located at the end of the Bylaw;
  • give land-owners more options on their property;
  • promote economic diversity and resiliency; and
  • density will be regulated by Floor Area Ratio instead of units per hectare.

The new Zoning Bylaw includes some innovative changes in regard to how the City of Duncan will create vibrancy and flexibility:

  • Floor Area Ratio (FAR) – instead of units per hectare
  • Row Houses – fee simple or strata
  • Detached Secondary Suites – more flexibility
  • Subdivision – more options
  • Highway Corridor – improved streetscapes and land utilization
  • Mobile Food Vending – more food options, promotes economic diversity and resiliency
  • Daycare – commercial & residential
  • Urban Farming – on any parcel
  • Cheque-Cashing / Pawn Shops – stronger regulations
  • Density Bonusing for Multi-unit and Mixed-use Development that provides desired amenities (affordable housing, underground parking, or high levels of energy efficiency)

View or download a draft of the new Zoning Bylaw.

Zone Changes


View or download the DRAFT Zoning Map

Public Consultation

  • Online consultation via PlaceSpeak  (started April 27th)
  • Community Open House at the Duncan Pentecostal Church (931 Trunk Rd.) on Thursday, April 27th from 4-7 pm
  • Booth at the Farmers Market on Saturday, April 29th and Saturday, May 27th from 9 am – 2 pm
  • Community Open House at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (531 Herbert St.) on Wednesday, May 3rd from 4:30-7:30 pm
  • Open House at City Hall (invited the Chamber of Commerce, DBIA and real estate offices) on Wednesday, May 17th from 2-6 pm
  • Referrals to North Cowichan, CVRD and Cowichan Tribes
  • In-person meetings with Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area members from October 25th-30th

Staff Reports and Presentations

Council, Committee of the Whole, and Public Hearing Minutes 

Official Community Plan Amendment 

Some zoning changes in the proposed Zoning Map in the new Zoning Bylaw require an amendment to the Map 1 – Land Use Map of the Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2030. The Land Use map guides general land use type and density in the City, and also identifies neighbourhood nodes and heritage sites. Zoning must be consistent with the Official Community Plan.

Bylaw Adoption Process

  • First and Second Reading of revised bylaw – November 20th, 2017
  • Public Hearing – November 27th, 2017 at 5:00 pm
  • Third Reading – to be scheduled
  • Ministry of Transportation approval – will be referred after Third Reading
  • Final Adoption – subject to Ministry of Transportation approval

Contact Information:

Michelle Geneau
Manager of Planning
Phone: 250.746.6126


Visit the Duncan Zoning Bylaw Discussions and Resources at placespeak.ca/duncanzoning