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What is the Zoning Bylaw?

The Zoning Bylaw contains the rules and regulations for the development of land in Edmonton. For the purpose of land development, the City of Edmonton is divided into zones.

There are 15 residential zones and seven commercial zones. The zone that a particular property is located in determines the way a site can be laid out (lot coverage and setbacks) and shapes the form of buildings (height and size).

Guidelines are also in place for developing in mature neighbourhoods; please see the regulations in the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay for detailed information.

All municipalities in Alberta are required to have a Zoning Bylaw.


Where will these changes take place?

Changes apply to every standard zone and overlay in the city and will be implemented as property owners and builders come forward with development applications.

When will the changes take effect?

The changes to the height and grade regulations take effect immediately and will be implemented as property owners and builders come forward with development applications.  Work to align the Zoning Bylaw regulations with consumer preference for more choice in residential housing remains ongoing. Further changes to the height regulations are slated to go forward to Council later this year.

What’s changing in the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (MNO)?

The changes apply to every standard zone and overlay in the city and are not specific to the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (MNO).  

Will these changes encourage infill in mature neighbourhoods?

The height and grade amendments started prior to Evolving Infill and Edmonton’s Infill Roadmap. The intent of the changes is not to encourage or discourage infill, but to increase the range of designs for new houses, and increase options for how to configure a building. 

Does removing reference to storeys increase the maximum building height permitted?

Removing reference to storeys will not change the maximum building height permitted because storeys only regulate the internal configuration of buildings.  Removing reference to storeys, and only using metres as a measure of height, helps encourage more creative interior building layouts without substantially altering the overall size and shape of buildings in the city.

Are there any other regulations besides height that limit the size of a building?

Yes. Height and grade work together with a number of other development and construction regulations to determine the size and shape of buildings in the city.   Examples include lot setback, width and coverage, building code regulations, as well as drainage and service connection requirements.

Why do walkout basement and drive-under garage developments no longer require special permission?

Houses with walkout basements and drive under garages are no longer atypical developments. They are now commonly built in new neighbourhoods with little or no opposition from the community. Changing these developments to a Permitted Use (Class A Permit) has helped align the regulations with current building practices and market preference.

Have deck and balcony regulations changed?

The new regulations clarify where to measure the height of platform structures, such as decks and balconies. The privacy and lot coverage regulations that apply to the location or height of platform structures are not changing.

As per section 814.3.8 of the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (MNO), platform structures greater than 1 metre above grade will still be required to provide privacy screening to prevent visual intrusion into adjacent properties.

Do the changes affect the maximum height permitted for apartment buildings or commercial buildings?

The maximum height of multi-tenant buildings has increased from 14 metres to 14.5 metres for flat roof buildings and 16 metres for pitched roof buildings in the following zones and overlays:

  • RF6 – Medium Density Multiple Family Zone
  • RA7 – Low-rise Apartment Zone
  • RA8 – Medium Rise Apartment Zone
  • CSC – Shopping Centre Zone
  • CB2 – General Business Zone
  • CHY – Highway Corridor Zone
  • CO – Commercial Office Zone
  • Medium Density Residential Overlay

The intent of the changes is to allow 4-storey multi-unit buildings to be built with a pitched roof using current construction technologies. As regulated in various overlays, buildings will still need to step back at a specified height when adjacent to houses to optimize access to sunlight, increase privacy and otherwise provide appropriate transition to the adjacent property. 

Why were the amendments to Special Information Requirements removed from Bylaw 16733?

Changes to the Special Information Requirement regulations were addressed in a separate draft bylaw that was approved by City Council on July 6, 2015.  

For More Information

James Veltkamp

Title Planner, Zoning Bylaw



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