Development within Whitehorse must be carried out in accordance with the City's Zoning Bylaw (2012-20). The purpose of the Zoning Bylaw is to provide for orderly development guided by the economic, social, and environmental objectives of the City's Official Community Plan.
The Zoning Bylaw divides land within Whitehorse into different zones. For each zone, the Zoning Bylaw describes permitted uses and regulations for items such as lot size, setbacks from property lines, site coverage, building height, floor area ratio, and density. General development regulations are also specified for site design, fencing, screening, landscaping, parking, signage, and other items. Additional regulations are provided for specific uses. The Zoning Bylaw is adopted by City Council with authority provided by the Yukon Municipal Act.
A development permit is generally required when a new use is introduced at at a site, or when there is a change of use or a change in intensity of use. Development permits are issued by a Development Officer who reviews applications to ensure that proposed developments comply with the Zoning Bylaw. More complex development proposals are also reviewed by the Development Review Committee. Some developments do not require a development permit (e.g. building a fence on your property). However, all regulations must be followed even when a permit is not required.
Visit the Development Permits page for more information.
Principal, Secondary, and Conditional Uses
The Zoning Bylaw lists principal, secondary, and conditional uses that are permitted in each zone. Principal uses are always permitted, provided they comply with all regulations in the Zoning Bylaw. Secondary uses are permitted only in conjunction with a principal use. Some uses are listed as ‘conditional’, which are generally compatible with the intent of a zone, but require additional consideration on a case-by-case basis to ensure they do not have adverse effects on surrounding uses.
Conditional uses must be approved by City Council. Applications go through an administrative and Council review, as well as a public input process. Considerations such as design and character, parking and traffic, capacity of infrastructure, impact on neighbouring properties, community benefits, consistency with existing plans and policies, and public input are taken into account by Council when making a decision. Council may attach certain conditions to a conditional use approval.
Visit the Current Amendments page to view current and recent conditional use applications.
Visit the Applications and Permits page for more information on applying for a conditional use permit.
Any property owner or their agent may apply for an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw. Most applications for amendments are to permit a use that is not normally permitted in a zone, or to have a site rezoned to a different zone in order to accommodate a development that would be substantially different from the provisions of the current zone. Zoning amendment applications go through an administrative and Council review and a public input process. Council may approve, approve with amendments, or deny an application to amend the zoning bylaw.
Please visit our Current Amendments page to view current and recent applications to amend the Zoning Bylaw.
Please visit the Applications and Permits page for more information on applying for a zoning amendment.
The mechanism by which an amendment is made is an amending bylaw. Amending bylaws have their own bylaw number, however the Zoning Bylaw number remains the same once an amendment is approved. The Zoning Bylaw is comprehensively updated periodically (every 6-10 years), at which time a new Zoning Bylaw with a new number is adopted by Council.
For convenience, the Zoning Bylaw is consolidated about once per year. The consolidation incorporates all of the amendments made to the Zoning Bylaw since its original adoption by Council.