Zoning Bylaw Rewrite

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.

View or download a draft of the proposed Zoning Bylaw

View or download a draft of the new Zoning Map

UPDATE – FEBRUARY 20, 2018: At its February 19, 2018 meeting, Council passed the second reading, as amended, of the proposed Zoning Bylaw. Staff made the following revisions to the bylaw since November 2017, based on Council recommendations and public feedback:

  • Site specific uses for automotive sales at 436 and 461 Trans Canada Hwy and for motorcycle repair and sales at 277 Government Street.
  • Permit existing single and two family dwellings in higher density zones to be rebuilt in cases of major damage.
  • Reduce the minimum floor area ratio (total floor area divided by parcel area) in the Medium and High Density Residential Zones and Commercial Zones for new development.
  • Permit community care facilities in several zones and community care facilities for no more than 10 persons in all zones.
  • Permit residential shelters (for no more than 10 persons) in all zones.
  • Prohibit emergency shelters in all zones. A separate Official Community Plan amendment received first two readings on February 19 as well, that would permit organizations seeking to establish emergency shelters to apply for a Temporary Use Permit that will be decided by Council on a case by case basis.
  • Permit downtown residential strata developments covering a large portion of the property to rebuild in their existing location in the case of major damage.

MARCH 19, 2018 – The proposed Zoning Bylaw went to Public Hearing on March 19, 2018.  Following the Public Hearing, Council approved third reading of the bylaw.  The bylaw was sent to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) for review and approval, and City received approval from MoTI on April 10, 2018.

The bylaw will be presented to Council for final adoption on May 22, 2018.

For links to the minutes of each meeting, please refer to the ‘Council, Committee of the Whole, and Public Hearing Minutes’ section below.

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 changes in the proposed Zoning Map require an amendment to 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.

Another amendment to the Official Community Plan was presented to Council on February 19, 2018. The amendment seeks to modify the following sections:

    • 6.4 Temporary Use Permit Policies – to allow organizations seeking to establish an emergency shelter to apply for a Temporary Use Permit.
    • 12.1 Development Permit Area Policies – to exempt property owners from obtaining a minor Development Permit, provided that any minor exterior improvements (new paint, landscaping, etc.) align with the relevant Development Permit Area Guidelines.
    • 12.2 DPA-1 Multi-Family Residential Areas Guidelines – general update following review
    • 12.3 DPA-2 Downtown Guidelines – general update following review

Bylaw Adoption Process

  • First and Second Reading of revised bylaw – November 20th, 2017
  • Second Reading, as amended – February 19, 2018
  • Public Hearing – March 19, 2018 at 5:00 pm
  • Third Reading – will be considered on March 19, 2018 after Public Hearing
  • 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