Maple Ridge city council has passed an updated zoning bylaw which recognizes substantial changes in development over the last 35 years.
The bylaw was modernized to improve usability, relevancy, and sustainability.
It is the third version of the document in the city’s 146 year history, and will serve as the specific framework for growth envisioned in the city’s official community plan.
“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 for the City of Maple Ridge.
“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.”
City planners performed a complete refresh of the original 207-page document and made a number of changes, which include: reducing the need for variance requests, enhancing sustainability requirements, and establishing new, modern principal uses.
They have also introduced graphics and illustrations to improve ease of use and understanding, included electronic hyperlinks to easily navigate the document and find definitions, and added a table of contents for the first time, while standardizing and simplifying the language contained within.
The bylaw also corrects small zoning boundary irregularities for about 200 properties and rezones other properties to align with existing use.
Staff consulted with the public, the province, local First Nations, School District No. 42, the Urban Development Institute, and the Home Builders Association of Vancouver.
Many of these groups provided feedback that was implemented in the new bylaw.
It was also reviewed by the city solicitor and deemed to be legally enforceable.
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.