City of Vancouver simplifying building process with new online tools 

Kennedy Stewart
Official photo

THE City unveiled its latest suite of permit and building process improvements on Wednesday with new changes that simplify, clarify, and update regulations to create more consistency for users.

Regulation Redesign was launched in 2018 and is the first effort by the City to review, clarify and simplify regulations that have been accrued over 60 years of policy-making in land use and zoning.

“These improvements are part of the dedicated effort to speed up the permitting process and deliver much needed housing faster,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “This also better serves small- and medium-sized businesses by making it easier to work with the City.”

As part of this initiative, the City has made a number of website improvements in response to feedback from over 350 members of the public and businesses.

A new Zoning and Development By-law landing page includes a new video providing an overview of what zoning is and instructions on how to use and find by-law information. A user guide was also created to explain how to navigate the by-laws more easily, by explaining its structure, and outlining how to find basic zoning information in clear, progressive steps.

A new land use document library has also been created which is a comprehensive collection of all zoning and development-related documents.

“The Regulation Redesign project is a concerted effort to streamline and make user-friendly the various rules and guidelines that govern development on private property.  We aim to eliminate redundant, conflicting and confusing provisions in our laws and enable faster and more efficient processing of applications,” said Gil Kelley, General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability.

Information about amendments to various land use-related documents will now be consolidated into a single webpage to make them easier to find. By bringing together information that was previously contained on multiple pages, users are now able to access more detailed information by being quickly directed to amending by-laws and relevant Council reports.

Council also referred several proposed Zoning and Development By-law changes to public hearing later this summer.  If approved these changes will make further improvements to create a more user-friendly By-law, and make it easier to find land use information.

Future Engagement

Staff will continue to engage stakeholders, the general public and staff on a more technical review of regulations and land use information.

The next phase of work will continue to advance improvements to the land use regulatory framework through additional engagement, continued work on formatting the By-law, simplifying regulations, updating land use definitions and improving access to information online.

To learn more, or get involved, visit and sign up to receive notifications.

Video links: