Zoning Bylaw and Amendments
The City’s Zoning Bylaw provides regulations for all development within Whitehorse. The Bylaw divides areas into zones and specifies items such allowable uses, required lot sizes, and height restrictions. The Zoning Bylaw is periodically updated to reflect changing City needs and priorities established through public processes. Property owners may also apply to amend the zoning for their property.
When a land use is not permitted in a zone, a property owner or their agent may apply for an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw. Most applications are to permit a use that is not normally allowed within a zone or to accommodate a development that would be substantially different from the provisions of the current zone. Applicants should discuss their proposal with Planning & Sustainability Services prior to submitting an application.
Applications must include:
- Application form
- Written statement describing and justifying the proposal
- Site sketch showing the proposed change in the context of existing development
- Application fee
- Additional information, as requested by the Development Officer (may include a landscaping plan, site plan, geo-technical information, or other relevant information)
The amendment process begins when the Development Officer has deemed the application to be complete.
The rezoning process is outlined in Section 15 of the Zoning Bylaw. Typically, applicants can expect a decision three (3) to five (5) months from the time a complete application is submitted. Zoning amendment applications go through the following process (see application process diagram):
- Review by File Manager
- Review by Development Review Committee
- Introduction to City Council at a Planning Committee Meeting
- 1st Reading at a Regular Council Meeting
- Notification in newspapers and direct mail-out to nearby property owners (urban: 100 m, rural: 1,000 m radius)
- Public Hearing at a Regular Council Meeting
- Public Hearing Report presented at a Planning Committee Meeting
- 2nd and 3rd Reading at Regular Council Meeting
If a zoning amendment is approved, the applicant may then proceed to obtain the necessary permits to begin their development.
Current and recent zoning amendment applications are listed on our Current Amendments web page.
The Zoning Bylaw requires City Administration and City Council to take into consideration the potential impacts that may result from rezoning a property. Considerations can include, but are not limited to:
- Compliance with the Official Community Plan and other City plans and policies
- Compatibility with surrounding land uses and development
- Traffic impacts
- Impact on services such as water and sewer, public transit, public facilities, etc.
- Necessity of rezoning in view of applicant’s stated intentions
- Concerns raised by area residents and land owners
The final decision on a rezoning application rests with City Council.