What is a Zoning Bylaw?

    A Zoning Bylaw is a document that regulates how land, buildings and other structures may be used. It does this by dividing the city into zones. This publicly available document results in the orderly disposition of land use in the city, affecting many aspects of daily life such as parking, landscaping, and density.

    What is zoning?

    Zoning is a practice utilized by local governments to regulate land. It guides aspects such as use, density, setbacks, parking, and lot coverage. Zoning is a powerful tool that can be used to conserve environmentally sensitive areas, prevent nuisances, protect open space, and support housing affordability.

    What is an Official Community Plan (OCP)?

    The Official Community Plan (OCP) is a bylaw and the primary tool that the City uses to guide the long-term growth of our community. The plan guides decisions made by City Council, staff, developers and professionals related to delivery of housing, transportation services, infrastructure and amenities. Learn more at kelowna.ca/ocp.

    How does the Zoning Bylaw work with the OCP?

    The OCP is a high-level policy document whereas the Zoning Bylaw is the specific implementation plan that follows. When a new OCP is adopted, the Zoning Bylaw is also updated to ensure they align.

    The two work together to provide the high-level strategic direction and the specific regulatory requirements necessary to plan for our city’s future. For example, the OCP might identify a broad goal like "promoting housing diversity" while the Zoning Bylaw will give more specific details, like “secondary suites and carriage houses are permitted in the RU1 zone”. 

    The OCP also identifies future land use in every area, which is why the Zoning Bylaw is updated to match. This allows for a clear understanding of how land will be developed and how the city can grow.

    How do the Zoning Bylaw and OCP affect my day-to-day life?

    These documents impact housing affordability, public parks, trails, transportation, taxes and more. They help outline what you or your neighbour may do on a property end ensures nearby uses are compatible with one another.