Minibus Zoning Amendment

Final Update (May 2018):

 The following zoning amendment bylaws were adopted on December 19, 2017:

The following zoning amendment bylaw was adopted on February 6, 2018:


January 9 update: 

District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw No. 2200, 2011 Amendment Bylaw No. 2566 (Secondary Suite Amendments), 2017 was adopted by Council on December 19, 2017 as part of the 2017 Zoning Bylaw Update. The Bylaw, however, failed to follow two procedural requirements:

  • The amendments at Third Reading regarding the regulation of short-term rentals were a substantial change in use and required a new Public Hearing; and,
  • The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure authorized the Bylaw without the amendments at Third Reading.

Staff are bringing the Secondary Suite Amendments back to Council (Bylaw 2582, 2018) for consideration and to correct procedural errors by repealing Bylaw 2566. View Bylaw 2582, 2018 for details.

A Public Hearing is took place Tuesday, January 23rd for Bylaw 2582, 2018.

The following zoning bylaws were given first and second reading on November 7. A Public Hearing took place December 5, 2017.

District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw No. 2200, 2011, Amendment Bylaw (Secondary Suite Amendments) No. 2566, 2017 *

District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw No. 2200, 2011, Amendment Bylaw (Tobacconist Amendments) No. 2567, 2017 

District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw No. 2200, 2011, Amendment Bylaw (Accessory Kitchen Amendments) No. 2568, 2017 

District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw No. 2200, 2011, Amendment Bylaw (Electric Vehicle Charging Amendments) No. 2569, 2017  

District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw No. 2200, 2011, Amendment Bylaw (Cash in-lieu, CD-2 Amendments) No. 2570, 2017

District of Squamish Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2100, 2009, Amendment Bylaw (DP Area 2 Amendments) No. 2571, 2017

Important dates:

Wednesday, August 16: Pop-up public engagement at Brennan Park Recreation Centre (Aquatic Centre lobby) from 4 to 6 p.m. 

Saturday, August 26: Pop-up public engagement at the Squamish Farmers' Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Tuesday, September 5: A series of proposed updates to the Squamish Zoning Bylaw was presented to Council. 

Tuesday, December 5: Public Hearing held.

Tuesday, January 23: Public Hearing held for Bylaw 2582,2018 (Secondary Suites Amendments - repeal of Bylaw 2566,2017)

Show All

The 2017 Zoning Bylaw update aims to re-evaluate the following zoning provisions (click on each link for drop-down information):

  • Cash in-lieu of Parking Stalls

    Council directed staff to increase the cash-in-lieu amount for required off-street parking spaces. Cash that the District receives in-lieu goes into a reserve fund to be used for parking infrastructure. Currently, Section 41.2(c) of the Zoning Bylaw allows the required number of off-street parking spaces be reduced by up to 4 spaces at a sum of $6,000 per space, for non-residential uses in commercial zones located in the downtown area. Staff are in the process of drafting a Payment in Lieu of Off-Street Parking Space Bylaw, therefore, Section 41.2 (c) of the Zoning Bylaw needs amending. 

    Proposed Solution: 

    Amend Section 41.2 (c) as follows: The owner or occupier of land for which off-street parking spaces are required for non-residential uses in downtown commercial zones (identified in Schedule A of the Payment in Lieu of Off-Street Parking Spaces Bylaw), rather than provide the required spaces on-site or off-site, shall pay to the District a sum per space as specified in the District's Payment in Lieu of Off-Street Parking Spaces Bylaw.

  • Second Kitchens

    The District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw allows all dwelling types to build two sets of cooking facilities (kitchens): one main facility and a second facility intended for frying, canning, and preparing special meals. The Zoning Bylaw does not dictate where the second kitchen should be located. While many second kitchens are used as intended, some second kitchens are built with the intention of creating an illegal suite at a later date. This poses an even greater challenge in two-unit dwellings (duplexes). Suites are not permitted in two-unit dwellings, because they would need to be built to multi-family fire safety standards and would need to rezone, as they would no longer be considered a two-unit dwelling. Of the municipalities staff reviewed, approximately half limited all dwelling types to only one cooking facility. None of the municipalities surveyed specified the location of the second set of cooking facilities in their Zoning Bylaw.

    Proposed Solution:

    Staff recommend amending the Zoning Bylaw to limit the location of a second set of cooking facilities to reduce the possibility of converting the second set of cooking facilities to an illegal suite, while also limiting these facilities to single-unit dwellings only. 

  • Secondary Suites

    The District of Squamish is experiencing rapid growth and its housing market is under pressure from both local growth and strong housing markets in neighbouring regions. These pressures have created a shortage of rental housing throughout the District. The Zoning Bylaw only permits one suite per lot, and a maximum size of 70 sq. m, with a bonus of up to 90 sq. m on properties 0.2 hectares (2,000  sq. m) and larger. Garages are permitted a maximum floor area exclusion of 55.7 sq. m, Per Section 4.25 (v) of the Zoning Bylaw. This permits the garage portion of carriage homes to be excluded from their floor area, resulting in carriage houses, which in some cases are larger than the principle dwelling. Some of the other municipalities surveyed permitted two suites on the same lot with restrictions on the size of the accessory suite tied to the lot size. 

    Proposed Solutions: 

    Consider allowing two suites (one carriage house, one suite) per lot in certain areas subject to FCL (flood construction level) and floodway restrictions. Neighbourhood research has indicated that Downtown, Dentville (RS-2 lots only), Valleycliffe and Garibaldi Estates could be suitable areas for allowing two suites. Research considered flood hazard, lot size and proximity to transit and services.

    1. Consider removing the garage exemption (55.7 sq. m) from the floor area calculations of accessory dwelling units.
    2. Consider allowing 90 sq. m  carriage homes on all properties; or
    3. Consider tying the permitted floor area of a carriage house to the size of the lot. 
  • Vapourizers and E-cigarettes

    Tobacco products are regulated federally by the Tobacco Act (in the process of being amended to include Vapour products) and provincially by the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act. The Zoning Bylaw does not define or regulate Vapour products or shops. Currently the sale of Vapour Products can occur in any zone, which permits a Retail Sales use, including Local Commercial (C-1), Downtown Commercial (C-4), and some Comprehensive Development Zones. Staff researched the bylaws of other municipalities in BC and did not find any that regulated the sale of tobacco or vapour products through a zoning bylaw. Staff suggest that if the zoning bylaw was amended to regulate the location of the sale of vapour products in the same way as marijuana dispensaries, then the bylaw should be amended to regulate the sale of all tobacco and vapour products, whether the primary or secondary function. Alternatively, if the Zoning Bylaw was amended to regulate the sale of vapour products in the same manner as marijuana dispensaries, the zone of exemption would need to be reduced from 300m to 100m. 

    Proposed Solution:

    Staff suggest not regulating the sale of vapour products as a use. 

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

    A large number of residents in Squamish commute outside of Squamish for work. Rising fuel costs combined with rapidly changing technology appear to be making electric vehicles more popular with commuters.  BC Hydro has forecasted there will be 300,000 electric vehicles on BC’s roads by 2030[1]. This forecasted increase in electric vehicles will fuel demand for residential electric vehicle charging stations. A report by the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC suggests that planning for the installation and accommodation of these facilities before construction is much more economical than installing these facilities from scratch in existing buildings.[2] Other municipalities surveyed have been anticipating this increased demand and require pre-wiring for electric charging stations in all new residential garages and multi-family developments.

    Potential Solutions:


    1. Consider requiring electric vehicle charging receptacles in 20 per cent of all parking stalls in new multi-family developments.
    2. Consider requiring pre-wiring to garages in new townhome developments to accommodate the future installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
    3. Consider requiring pre-wiring to garages or carports in new one and two family dwellings.





  • Development Permit Areas 2 and 7

    DPA 2 regulates the form and character of commercial and multi-unit residential development in Downtown Squamish as shown on Schedule J1 of the OCP. The current layout of the DPA 2 map is not aligned with the most recent District of Squamish Downtown Neighbourhood Plan. DPA 7 regulates the form and character of all multi-family development outside Downtown Squamish.  Currently, there are some properties in Downtown Squamish that are not captured by either DPA 2 or DPA 7. These properties, however, are identified as part of Downtown Squamish on Schedule B of the OCP.  

    Proposed Solutions:

     To ensure that any new multi-unit development in the Downtown area is subject to a Development Permit for form and character staff are proposing to:

    • Revise the DPA 2 Downtown Inset Map to align it with the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan and forthcoming OCP update;
    • Modify the wording of DPA 7 to include areas of Downtown Squamish that are not subject to another Development Permit Area. 

    View the proposed bylaw.