When was Bylaw 500 adopted?

    Bylaw 500 was originally adopted in 1984 and has been in place for 36 years. During this time, the Bylaw has undergone a significant number of amendments which include both owner-initiated zoning amendments and RDN planning initiatives. The Planning Department is currently reviewing the 429th amendment to Bylaw 500.

    Why are you doing this project?

    In addition to the Bylaw being 36 years old and being amended more than 400 times, the bylaw has not kept up with market trends and development demands. The RDN has identified a number of sections of the bylaw that are inconsistent, unclear, difficult to interpret, and overly complicated. The result being that Bylaw 500 has become difficult to administer, enforce, and challenging for property owners to use.

    What are you trying to achieve with this project?

    The intent of this project is to address known problems with the bylaw and to improve bylaw components that are unclear, inconsistent, or are challenging to administer or enforce. The end product will be an updated zoning bylaw with a fresh new look and feel.

    If the bylaw is so old and has been amended so many times, why not just start the review from scratch?

    Despite its challenges, overall Bylaw 500 is still a good bylaw and has served the community well. The intent is to keep the good parts of Bylaw 500 and improve the components that require improvement. 

    This approach is based on the idea that if  "it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    Will the project result in changes to minimum parcel size?

    No. The project is targeting changes related to key focus areas included in the project Terms of Reference. Please refer to the Document Library for more information. 

    How can I participate in the process?

    Zoning is a technical regulatory document. As such our approach to seeking input from the community and stakeholders reflects the technical nature of the document. There will be opportunities for the community and key stakeholders to provide input  at key stages of the project. For more information on opportunities to participate in the project, please visit the project timeline, and subscribe to  the project by clicking the "Follow Project" button to receive project update notifications. 

    How do I connect with RDN staff to discuss the project?

    Send us an email to bylaw500review@rdn.bc.ca or call us at (250) 390-6510.

    What is Bylaw 500?

    "Regional District of Nanaimo Land Use and Subdivision Bylaw No. 500, 1987" (Bylaw 500) is a zoning bylaw in accordance with the Local Government Act. Bylaw 500 applies to the following areas:

    • Electoral Area A (Cedar, Yellow Point, Cassidy, South Wellington)
    • Electoral Area C (Extension, Nanaimo Lakes, Jingle Pot)
    • Electoral Area E (Nanoose, Fairwinds, Red Gap)
    • Electoral Area G (French Creek, San Pariel, Rivers Edge, Dashwood)
    • Electoral Area H (Bowser, Horne Lake, Deep Bay, Qualicum Bay)

    Bylaw 500 is the principle planning document that regulates the use of land, buildings, and structures. in the communities listed above.In simple terms, Bylaw 500 specifies the types of uses that may occur on a parcel, limits building height, regulates subdivision of land, and specifies the minimum distance that buildings and structures must be from all lot lines.

    What is a zoning bylaw?

    Zoning bylaws are enacted by the Regional Board through authority granted by the Local Government Act. 

    Zoning bylaws implement land use planning visions expressed in official community plans and regional growth strategies, and may support community sustainability and resilience goals. Zoning bylaws regulate how land, buildings and other structures may be used.

    Zoning bylaws may divide the whole or part of an area into zones, name each zone and establish the boundaries of those zones.

    For example, residential zones can be defined to reflect different types of residential uses in a community such as single-family, duplex and multi-family. The names of the zones and the related details are determined by each local government so there may be variation between communities throughout the province.

    A zoning bylaw can limit the height of buildings and other structures and permitted uses in a zone 

    The power to regulate through a zoning bylaw also includes the power for local governments to prohibit any use or uses in a zone.