Thursday, July 05, 2012

Zoning Bylaws - a good reason to amalgamate

Here is the list of all the local zoning bylaws:

Central Saanich - 46 zoning classifications and 6 comprehensive development zones
Colwood - 45 zoning classifications and 26 comprehensive development zones
Esquimalt - 43 zoning classifications and 60 comprehensive development zones
Highlands - 40 zoning classifications and 1 comprehensive development zone
Langford - 55 zoning classifications and 15 comprehensive development zones
Metchosin - 22 zoning classifictions
North Saanich - 33 zoning classifications and 3 other zones
Oak Bay - 34 zoning classifications
Saanich - 118 zoning classifications - 25 special zones
Sidney - 29 zoning classifications and 41 comprehensive development zones
Sooke - 32 zoning classifications and 10 comprehensive development zones
Victoria - hundreds of different zones and development areas, it seems a large number of the commercial properties in Victoria are one off zonings.    I am planning on looking at the bizarre zoning chaos in Victoria at a later date
View Royal - 25 zoning classifications and 11 comprehensive development zones

Not counting Victoria, this is 522 zoning classifications and 198 comprehensive development zones.   This is simply utterly over the top and ludicrous.   Why bother with zoning bylaws at all if we have so many of them?   It is not only the number of zones that is a problem.

The various zoning bylaws are not written in a consistent style.  They are not even all called zoning bylaws.  If someone is a developer or contractor doing house renovations you should not have to be a legal scholar to keep up with what is allowed in all the different zoning classifications.

Ideal would be an overarching template for a zoning bylaw with a set of consistent definitions for terms.   There should be some basic agreement on what an R1 means, having 13 different definitions for the most basic zone, R1, is ludicrous - though not everyone has used R1 as a term.

Our region is very badly zoned and will always be so until we have a unified planning and zoning process.  Only amalgamation can fix this.

1 comment:

Vincent Gornall said...

Mariana Valverde dealt with the history of land-use zoning at the February City Talk at the Legacy Gallery. From the description of the talk: "while land-use thinking was to some extent a replacement for the older local-law machinery of 'nuisance', nuisance logics and land-use planning logics coexist to this day." It's not clear to me why zoning for land-use ought to be the only or primary way in which we regulate competing uses.