The Zoning Bylaw provides most of the tools to implement the OCP policies. The Zoning Bylaw designates different land use zones in the municipality and very specifically sets out the types of uses permitted in each. It also sets out specific development parameters such as density, building setbacks from property lines, maximum building heights, lot site coverage, parking, etc.
Construction of a particular development proposal cannot proceed contrary to the Zoning Bylaw. However, council can amend the Zoning Bylaw to facilitate a favourable development proposal. As with the OCP, however, changes to the Zoning Bylaw can only proceed following a public hearing. The Local Government Act of British Columbia sets out specific requirements for advertising and notices related to Zoning Bylaw amendments. These are further clarified by the Town’s own Land Use Procedures Bylaw.
Rezoning a property requires an amendment to the Town's Zoning Bylaw, which can only be approved by the elected council. For properties within 800 m of Highway 97, the rezoning bylaw must also receive approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Highways, pursuant to the Highway Act.
Council will not generally consider a rezoning application unless a specific development or subdivision is contemplated, and preliminary plans of the proposed development must accompany the rezoning application. Even if approved in principle, final adoption of the zoning bylaw is usually withheld until all conditions of the bylaw or the associated development permit are met.
A step by step description of the process follows:
- Come into the Town office and discuss your project with the staff. The first step in determining whether you require a zoning change for your proposed development is made by municipal staff.
- Once you understand all the requirements, a formal application form is filled out and submitted made up as follows:
- Completed application form
- Application fee
- Copy of Certificate of State of Title or of Indefeasible Title
- Where development or subdivision is contemplated:
- Two II' x 17" professionally drafted plans showing the parcel(s) or part of the parcel(s) to be rezoned and the location of existing structures and uses
- Two II' x 17" dimensioned professionally drafted site development plans showing the proposed use, buildings and structures, highway access, parking layout, subdivision boundaries etc.
You must post a sign on the property within five days of application. A standard sign is available at the Town office for a minimal fee.
Staff will prepare a report to council to describe your proposal and its anticipated impacts, both positive and negative. Where applicable, comments will also be sought from the Ministry of Transportation and Highways, Ministry of Environment and other affected agencies. Council usually expects staff to make recommendations on whether or not to approve your application.
Council will consider the rezoning request at a future regular meeting. Practically, this cannot happen for at least a two weeks to one month after the application is made. If the amending bylaw is accepted in principle by council, they may give first and second readings to the bylaw.
Changing the use of a property through rezoning will often impact the nature of the surrounding neighbourhood. Thus, all zoning changes are advertised and the public is given an opportunity to voice their opinions to council at a public hearing. The public hearing is normally held two weeks after the meeting at which first and second reading of the bylaw were given. Notice of the public hearing is placed in two consecutive issues of a local newspaper and sent to all property owners and tenants in occupation within thirty metres of the affected property. Staff may prepare report with supplementary information to council.
At the Council meeting after the public hearing, council may give third reading to the amending bylaw. If required, the bylaw is forwarded to the Ministry of Transportation and Highways for their consent.
If the subject property is proposed to be subdivided, or if it requires a development permit, council may withhold final approval of the zoning bylaw until all subdivision and development permit conditions are met (e.g. servicing agreements and security deposits in place).
Council may abandon the bylaw at any time and in effect refuse your application.