2020 Zoning Bylaw Update


The District of Squamish is currently updating its Zoning Bylaw to meet the needs of our growing community.
(View the current  Zoning Bylaw.)

The 2020 Zoning Bylaw Update addresses many different aspects of zoning regulations. The following topics are being addressed; more detail about each of these items can be found by clicking on the links below:

What is a Zoning Bylaw?

2020 Zoning Update LOGO


A Zoning Bylaw is the set of rules that determine how land can and can’t be used and what can and can’t be built.

Zoning serves a community in several ways. It is designed to protect community health and safety, by separating uses that wouldn’t work well together such as heavy industry and residences.

Watch: Zoning 101

Zoning is also used to shape the places where we live, work and play and to ensure development of a community is in the best interests of its citizens.

Zoning provides land use certainty and protects the substantial investment people and businesses make when they purchase a property. It is made of up two basic parts: maps and regulations. Maps divide our community into different zones, whereas regulations identify what uses are permitted in each zone, and what rules buildings must meet, such as height and density.

The current District of Squamish Zoning Bylaw was adopted in 2011. Since then, Squamish has experienced significant growth and completed several community planning projects, including an update of the District of Squamish Official Community Plan. Zoning Bylaw regulations require regular re-evaluation to keep up with the community needs, priorities and alignment of other initiatives such as changes in provincial law.

The 2020 Zoning Bylaw Update will focus on four key areas (click each for details):


2020 Zoning Update Align ocp fetaure block copy

2020 Zoning Update increase flexibility fetaure block copy

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Zoning Bylaw Update Stages

The Project is divided into 3 overlapping update stages.

Stage 1: High Priority Alignment with the Official Community Plan

Stage 1 of the Zoning Bylaw Update is intended to align zoning issues  with the Official Community Plan in specific situations where current zoning could result in future outcomes that are not aligned with important Official Community Plan objectives and policies.

This stage includes a limited number of bylaw amendments which were considered by Council for 1st and 2nd reading on July 7th, 2020. 
The Agenda item with the Bylaws can be found here.
The Report to Council for this discussion can be found here.

The majority of Stage 1 bylaws will be considered at a Public Hearing on July 28th, 2020. 
Information about the public hearing can be found here.

Stage 1 is expected to be completed in the fall if 2020.

Stage 2: Official Community Plan Alignment

Stage addresses alignment with Official Community Plan policies that involve complex zoning updates and which require a significant amount of research, regulatory development and community engagement.
Topics to be addressed include:
Business park zoning
Marine zoning
Density bonus structure to support energy efficient construction
Density bonus system to support core transit network and neighbourhood node development
Specific property zoning that is misaligned

Stage 2 of the update is divided into 4 stages, which are outlined below.

Phase 1
Project Initiation
Phase 2
Bylaw Development
Phase 3
Public Review Process
Phase 4
Bylaw Adoption
Solicit initial community & stakeholder input regarding project scope Consider regulatory options and draft bylaw with continued stakeholder input Solicit community feedback, amend bylaw and re-engage community as needed Progress through legislated bylaw adoption process
Feb-April 2019 May-August 2020 September-October 2020 November 2020
Web Page
Zoning Intro Open House
Key Stakeholder
Agency Outreach
Web Comment Portal
Stakeholder Meetings
Landowner Outreach
Staff Consultation
Web Comment Portal
Bylaw Open House
Stakeholder Meetings
Website Updates
Web Comment Portal
Agency Referral
Public Hearing
 Formal Agency Referrals


The Phase 1 Open House for Stage 2. was held on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. View the information presented at the meeting.

Stage 2 is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Stage 3: General Amendments

Stage 3 of the Zoning Bylaw is intended to address a broader range of zoning bylaw issues under the categories of increase zoning bylaw flexibility, improve functionality and address gaps. The stage of the bylaw update will initiate after completion of Stage 2. Preliminary work is underway for the stage at the staff level at this time.

Stage 3 is expected to be completed in 2021.

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