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Zoning Bylaw Review


We’re doing a review and update to our Zoning Bylaw

Why is the Zoning Bylaw being updated?

  • The goal of this project is to review and refresh the Zoning Bylaw, and implement the direction set out in the new OCP (adopted in 2018). (ex: updated densities, new Development Permit Areas)
  • Provide greater clarity for existing zoning requirements such as parking, suites, landscaping.
  • Improve user-friendliness of the bylaw through formatting, simple language, and clear definitions.

What is a Zoning Bylaw?

  • The Zoning Bylaw is a regulatory document that specifically explains rules for land uses, zones, and lot design.
  • The Local Government Act allows municipalities to zone areas within its jurisdiction through the Zoning Bylaw.
  • The Review process involves research,  gathering feedback, drafting, and preparation for bylaw adoption.
  • The Zoning Bylaw is approved by Council and includes a Public Hearing that is open to the community for public comment.
  • There are multiple ways to provide feedback through the Let’s Talk page, Public Open House events, email, telephone, or drop-in.

A Zoning Bylaw covers aspects like:

  • Zones, land uses, zoning map
  • Density
  • Lot design regulations (coverage, size, setbacks, height, placement of buildings)
  • Off-street parking & loading requirements
  • Landscaping and screening
  • Lighting
  • Suites
  • Cannabis-related land uses, ex: retail stores, production facilities
  • Development Permit Areas (DPA)- form and character design of lots and buildings; floodplain requirements
    • Downtown DPA (new)
    • Fish Creek DPA (new)

The Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw was another big update that was completed in 2018.  The OCP is a future looking bylaw that has a vision, goals, objectives, and strategies that are created by the community, for the community. The Zoning Bylaw is the next key bylaw to be reviewed and updated.  It connects and implements aspects of the OCP and other key master plans through specific land-based rules and urban design regulations.

What does the bylaw do or not do?

Zoning aims to:

  • Separate conflicting land uses
  • Provide certainty for development, ex: allowed uses, density, lot design requirements
  • Improve visual appearance of properties, ex: landscaping and Development Permit Areas
  • Provide a chance for community members to comment on land use decisions

Zoning cannot:

  • Zone to exclude or discriminate against any person or group of people
  • Deal with the inside of buildings, ex: interior design or interior renovation
  • Guarantee or authorize that permits will be approved
  • Specify or control design & spaces on public roads, ex: public parking, sidewalks

How does a Zoning Bylaw impact me?  What would I use the bylaw for?

  • Explains where zones are located on a map and what is allowed in a certain zone.
  • Informs what kinds of buildings are allowed on a lot and how they are arranged on a lot, ex: home, office, deck, apartment, store, shop, etc.
  • Provides zoning direction for incorporated lands, brought into the City boundary in 2016.
  • Proposes provisions to incorporate elements from the Downtown Action Plan, Transportation Master Plan, and Animal Control Bylaw.
  • Informs and aligns with other important development bylaws for subdivisions and building.

Latest News

City of Fort St. John’s new Zoning Bylaw – Adopted October 28, 2019

The City of Fort St. John’s new Zoning Bylaw was adopted on October 28, 2019 at the Regular Council meeting. The new Zoning Bylaw will be uploaded to the City’s Bylaws Library page.

Public Hearing for the new Zoning Bylaw

A Public Hearing will be held on October 28th at 6pm in City Hall Council Chambers, followed by an open Council meeting for adoption of the new Zoning Bylaw.  The Public Hearing is open to all community members to provide written and in-person comment on the bylaw. For more information, please see the Public Notice on the City’s website here.

The Zoning Bylaw is Ready

Fort St. John’s Zoning Bylaw No. 2470, 2019 is ready for readings!  The Zoning Bylaw will be presented to Council for first and second readings at a Regular Meeting on Monday October 15th.  The Regular Council meeting starts at 3pm Council Chamber, City Hall and is open to all community member to attend.  To view the agenda, click here: October 15 Regular Council Agenda.

Check Out the Draft Zoning Bylaw

The final draft of the City of Fort St. John Zoning Bylaw is ready to share!

The draft will be presented to Council at the public Regular Meeting on September 9, 2019 at 3pm – City Hall, Council Chambers. To check out the draft Zoning Bylaw and report for the agenda, click here (Agenda item #13.10) or go to the City website page “Agendas & Minutes“.

Missed the Zoning Bylaw Open House?

If you missed the open house events on July 31st and August 10th, you can check out the open house zoning information below!  Information includes an overview of secondary suites, home occupations, landscaping and proposed Integration Zones.  Some of the key areas being reviewed are making the bylaw easier to use, clear language, helpful illustrations, reflecting recent legislative changes, and specific sections like parking and multiple dwelling housing.

Zoning Open House Panels


Zoning Bylaw Open House #2

If you missed the open house event on July 31st, you still have a chance to drop-in and learn more about the updates we’re doing.  Planning staff will be hosting another open house on Saturday August 10th at the North Peace Cultural Centre from 2 to 5pm.



Proposed Zoning Bylaw


You can view the final draft of the Zoning Bylaw and map below:



Get Involved

Here are the ways you can get involved and provide your feedback:

Attend the Public Open Houses held at the North Peace Cultural Centre on:

July 31, 2019, 4-8 PM   |  August 10, 2019, 2-5 PM

One-on-One: By email, telephone or appointment. Contact Renée Jamurat  MCIP, RPP, Planning Manager, rjamurat@fortstjohn.ca , 250-787-8150.