Zoning land use regulations as well as zoning maps provide the means to implement the goals set forth in the Official Community Plan. Zoning has not yet been discussed in the OCP renewal process.

Zoning may specify:

  • the uses allowed on property; (residential, commercial, etc.)
  • how close buildings can be to one another;
  • building height;
  • how many structures can be built on a property;
  • how much of a property can be covered by buildings; and
  • limits on potential nuisances due to noise, lighting or dust.

Zoning is a critical tool for getting the benefits of growth while minimizing negative impacts.

When it works well zoning guides new development to sites where benefits will be maximized without detracting from the use and enjoyment of those owning or occupying adjoining property or the community as a whole.

When zoning works poorly the benefits are slanted to the specific property owner(s) or special interest group at the overall expense of the quality of life of others.

As mentioned previously, the OCP should set forth the goals of the community and the objectives essential to achieving the goals.

Re-zoning, like, the OCP should be prepared through a process that encourages maximum participation by all community members and provides residents with the background information needed to understand how each alternative will affect their interests.

Like the OCP, good zoning can only result from a thorough, unbiased analysis of all realistic options for how the district might grow.  Each option is ranked based on estimates of positive and negative effects.  Residents of the locality then decide which option(s) will provide the best quality of life for them and their children.  Thus, good zoning begins with a plan meeting these criteria.

Spot Zoning

“Spot zoning” occurs when development is allowed that is not consistent with the OCP and/or existing zoning.

In almost all cases it benefits one property owner at the detriment of others owners/occupants.

Spot zoning is considered the hallmark of poor planning.

Zoning changes should only occur when a comprehensive planning process or other thorough, public process shows that there will be significant public benefit and it will not adversely affect adjoining property owners.

Some examples of spot zoning in West Vancouver:  Grosvenor building 1300 Marine Dr., Onni/Evelyn Drive, Sewells Horseshoe Bay, Maison Keith Rd. & Taylor Way, Westerleigh 22nd and Marine, Hollyburn Gardens Infill, 15th & Clyde apartment, 370 & 380 Mathers (Church to residential)