2024 Planning Legislation Changes

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At the end of 2023, the B.C. Government passed several new pieces of legislation that apply across the province and impact the City of Kelowna’s land use planning framework. The intent of the provincial updates is to fulfill the Homes for People plan priorities to aggressively close the gap between housing supply and demand in BC. Local Governments are required to update their bylaws by summer 2024 to meet the new provincial requirements.

Despite the generational shortage of housing and deteriorating housing affordability, the rate of homebuilding in B.C. has minimally increased since the 1990s. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) estimates 570,000 homes must be built in the province by 2030, which is double our current pace.

More information on the new provincial amendments, requirements and bills can be found here. If you have questions about the provincial mandates, contact the B.C. Planning and Land Use Management Branch PLUM@gov.bc.ca.

 The City of Kelowna is committed to keeping our neighbourhoods and businesses informed about the Provincial changes, and will continue to provide updates on our website and social media platforms. Stay informed by signing up for e-updates from the City here.

Overview of what’s changing

The following table is intended to provide a quick reference to illustrate the new rules, what is already being done, what changes are to come, and what to expect from the City of Kelowna in response to these provincial mandates.

New RuleDetailIs this already in effect in Kelowna? What does this mean? 
Bill 44: Small-scale multi-unit housingSuburban Areas: Up to 4 units permitted on one lot.

Core Areas: Up to 5 or 6 units permitted on one lot. More than 4 units will only be possible on a limited number of large lots which can accommodate adequate parking.

Partially, in MF1 zoned areas around downtown and Pandosy.

An incremental increase in single dwelling lots redeveloped with two, three or four units, due to an easier process. The alternative scenario is lot consolidation and rezoning, where mature neighbourhoods could see an increase in neglected and vacant properties, as individual owners anticipate selling to allow a much larger scale of redevelopment. 

 

Bill 46: New Development Finance ToolsDevelopment Cost Charges and Levies (DCCs), Amenity Cost Charges (ACCs)Yes. Kelowna already has established, fixed DCCs to help fund costs associated with new development.No change.
Housing Needs Reports (HNR) Must be completed and/or updated.Yes. HNR was completed in 2023. Minor update.
Official Community Plans (OCP)OCPs will need to be updated every 5 years.New OCP was adopted in 2022.Minor update.
Zoning Bylaws Align zoning bylaws with HNR and OCPs Yes. Already completed or in process.More neighbourhoods within the Permanent Growth Boundary will be able to develop up to 4 units on a single lot.
Public HearingsPublic hearings for rezonings are prohibited if the proposal is in  alignment with the OCP.No. This is new for all municipalities.Kelowna is looking to improve communications and the engagement process between the community, developers, city staff and council to ensure our interactions are meaningful.

Bill 47: Transit Oriented 
Development (TOD) Areas

Within 200m of the Transit Exchange, maximum building heights will be 10 storeys. Within 400m, 6 storey buildings are permitted. View mapPartially. In effect for Rutland and Okanagan College. The Hospital and Orchard Park will need to be in effect by June.Staff are adjusting the OCP and zoning bylaw to accommodate increased heights surrounding the four provincially designated transit exchanges.  
Parking in TOD AreasNo required parking for residential land uses.No. Kelowna has reduced parking requirements for TOD Areas.Developers and builders will decide on the minimum parking required for new units. 

 

 

How significant are these changes?

Across B.C., this is considered a sweeping change, and many municipalities are struggling to meet the new requirements. Over the last twenty years, the City of Kelowna has already been incrementally addressing many of these new planning rules.

Kelowna is geographically constrained by the lake, mountains, and agricultural lands – the reasons this is such a desirable place to call home - and we have had to use our land and natural resources responsibly and efficiently. In doing so, the City has managed to limit tax increases for residents and businesses. As a municipality and as a community, we are in a strong position to manage these changes and meet all mandated timelines.

When will Council be considering these changes?

Council will be reviewing proposed changes on February 5th and February 12th, 2024, to implement Small-Scale Multi-Unit Housing (SSMUH) and Transit Oriented Areas (TOA). Read the full report on the Council Agenda. You can watch the Council meeting in Council Chambers at 1435 Water St, or online at 1:30 pm.

You can review the Staff Power Point for an overview of the changes to Suburban, Rural, and Agricultural properties here.

You can review the Staff Power Point for an overview of the changes to the Core Area Neighbourhoods and Transit Oriented Areas here.

Additional Information
Bill 35: Short-Term Rental Accommodations

The City has recently adopted a new bylaw in addition to provincial regulations. For more information, visit our Short Term Rentals page.

Bill 44: Small Scale Multi-Unit Housing

Bill 44 governs minimum residential densities, new zoning processes, and municipal planning requirements. To learn more, check out the Provincial Policy Manual.

Bill 47: Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Areas

Bill 47 governs density, height, and parking within 400 m of a prescribed transit exchange. To learn more check out the Provincial Policy Manual

Use this map to see zoning changes in your area

How to use:

  1. Enter your address in the "Find address" bar and press the search icon.
  2. Use the "+" or "-" buttons to zoom in or out on the map. 
  3. Swipe the navigation bar (white line with three lines in centre) from the left to right to see changes.
  • Brown outlines = original zoning
  • Green outlines = proposed zoning to reflect provincial legislation