MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — The City of Maple Ridge has given its zoning bylaw the first major update in decades.
City council recently passed an updated version of the bylaw to improve usability, relevancy and sustainability. Officials stated the update represents substantial zoning changes that have happened during the last 35 years.
The new version of the bylaw is the third version in the city’s history. The document serves as the specific framework for growth envisioned in the city’s Official Community Plan.
The technical information in the bylaw helps regulate the form and character of neighbourhoods, ensuring they’re built in a predictable manner.
“This represents a significant improvement over our current bylaw, which we’ve been using since 1985,” said Christine Carter, general manager of planning and development services, in a statement. “It’s been a long road to get to this approved. I’m incredibly proud of the hard work and tenacity of staff who’ve worked on this project.”
Carter explained the city’s planning department completely overhauled the old 207-page zoning bylaw, making some key changes including:
- Reducing the need for variance requests
- Enhancing sustainability requirements
- Establishing new, modern principal uses
- Introducing graphics and illustrations to improve clarity
- Adding digital hyperlinks to easily navigate the document and instantly locate definitions
- Adding a table of contents
- Standardizing and simplifying language
The city also spent time correcting small zoning boundary irregularities for roughly 200 properties and rezoned other properties to align with current uses.
The team updating the zoning bylaw spent time getting input from residents, the province, local First Nations, School District No. 42, the Urban Development Institute and the Home Builders Association of Vancouver.
Staff will review the new bylaw after one year and report their findings to council, as is standard practice whenever the city introduces new policy legislation.