new bc zoning laws for construction

Last year, the B.C. government announced that it would be implementing new zoning changes to improve housing security. These changes, now in the process of being implemented, promise to have a substantial impact on many British Columbian residents. Whether you’re a homeowner, prospective buyer, or developer, it’s crucial to stay informed about these changes.

Understanding the nuances of these regulations can help you navigate the complexities of building or renovating your home, ensuring compliance and potentially avoiding costly setbacks. As these new policies take effect, they will shape the landscape of residential development in British Columbia, making it more important than ever to be aware of how they might affect your housing plans.

In this article, the best home builders in Kelowna will go over everything you need to know about B.C.’s historic zoning changes.  

An Overview of the New Zoning Plans in B.C.

new zoning rule changes in bc

Since the onset of the housing crisis after the pandemic, the government has been searching for an effective group of solutions to mend the problem. One of the latest proposed solutions includes a province-wide zoning change to allow more high-density housing to be constructed on single-family lots. In most areas across the province, municipalities with over 5,000 people will be able to build at a minimum, four-plexes up to three stories high. This will be allowed to occur only on lots that are presently designated for single-family or duplex use. For lots larger than the standard single-family designation, or within 400 meters of a frequent transit network, the government will allow up to six units to be built. 

With this new legislation’s onslaught, the province hopes to create more than 130,000 new, small-scale, multi-unit homes over the next 10 years. The radical zoning changes were largely influenced by similar regulations introduced in Auckland, New Zealand in 2016. Experts suggest that creating more housing options will lower the average price point for a home in select B.C. areas. This would greatly improve affordability for first-time home buyers/builders looking for a house. 

Right now, the implementation deadline is set for June 30th, 2024. Until after such point, many developers and builders are holding off on purchasing land as there are too many unknowns surrounding zoning bylaws. Certain cities may be able to delay the onset of the new legislation if there are feasibility concerns. Otherwise, the provincial government will implement the new zoning bylaws for each municipality at the end of June. 

Moving forward, it’ll be necessary to keep up with news about the implementation of these requirements. Details like whether the new units will be able to be stratified, or secured as rental still haven’t been clarified. 

What Does This Mean for Homeowners and Developers?

bc zoning rules change

For homeowners and developers, these zoning changes represent both opportunities and challenges. With more high-density housing, there will be greater room for profit on large lots. Moreover, land will be used more efficiently to house residents of B.C. making it easier to secure a home. 

As a developer, these changes will provide significant opportunities for growth. Lots that once were able to support only one or two housing units will now be able to have four to six units. This is incredibly advantageous for those looking to make the most of the new zoning alterations. By helping to create more high-density housing, you will ensure that British Columbian residents can find an affordable place to live. However, it’s important that as a developer you understand the nuances of the updated zoning bylaws, which may vary from city to city. Non-compliance could result in delays, increased costs or legal issues. 

On the other hand, for homeowners, new zoning laws could increase the value of their property. Those who own single-family lots may see a boost in property worth due to the potential for development. This is great news for anyone looking to sell in the near future. You may also consider developing your own lot and renting out the other units to generate more income from your land or house extended family. 

Beyond the individual benefits, these changes are set to have a broader impact on communities across the province. With more high-density housing comes more sustainable neighbourhoods and increased housing options. You can learn more about the provincial government’s plan in their news release about the new zoning requirements

Contact the Arnold Construction the Best Home Builders in Kelowna to Learn More!

Keeping up with zoning requirements is a good idea if you plan to build a home in B.C. in the future. If you’d like to work with the best home builders in Kelowna and get started on your project, contact us today. We’d be happy to help you build the perfect home for your needs. Be sure to check out our social media page for current and past projects we’ve worked on.

We look forward to working with you!