In 2015, Council directed staff was to monitor the zoning regulations created through the Infill I and II Studies that resulted in the Mature Neighbourhoods Overlay By-law 2012-147) and the Infill II Zoning regulations (By-law 2015-228) for a period of two years and consider technical amendments that may be required to ensure the intent of the council direction and OMB settlement is maintained. Staff are collecting comments and will report back to Planning Committee on the effectiveness of these new rules in ensuring that new residential development fits into its surroundings. If technical modifications to the Infill 1 and 2 regulations are necessary, a report will be presented to Planning Committee along with recommendations for further action.
The Mature Neighbourhoods Overlay (S. 139-140) of Zoning By-law 2008-250 affects all residential dwellings of four storeys or less in the older neighbourhoods in Wards 14 and 15, and parts of Wards 12, 13 and 17, as shown on the Map. The rules affect all properties where:
- new houses are going to be built;
- additions are proposed to existing homes;
- new or widened driveways are proposed; or
- new parking spaces are being considered on one’s property.
The purpose of the rules is to recognize the main character and use of lands along a street and ensure that new development fits into the look along that street. Before you may create a new lot, build a house, put an addition on your home or seek a new or widened driveway, a Streetscape Character Analysis (SCA) must be undertaken that determines the existing dominant character of specific land use attributes that affect the look along your street. The rules deal with the use of lands in the front and corner side yards between a house and the street, and between houses along the street, including the amount of front/corner yard landscaping, the driveway width, and location of parking on the property. The rules also recognize newer forms of development including corner lots and long semi-detached dwellings, where one dwelling unit is behind the other.
All lots within the Mature Neighbourhoods Overlay that are zoned R1-R4 are also subject to the Alternative Provisions within the Urban Area introduced under the second phase of the Low-rise Infill Housing Study (Infill II). Consideration is being given to adding the following neighbourhoods to the Overlay: Overbrook, Britannia Village, Manor Park, Linenlea and part of Dow's Lake that was not included in 2015.
The Infill II Study’s resulting regulations affect all residential properties zoned R1-R4 within the inner and outer urban Wards (wards 7-18) as shown on the Map. Note that not all lots within the Infill II area are subject to the Mature Neighbourhoods Overlay. The alternative rules affect:
- building height;
- rear and side yard setbacks;
- projections into the rear and side yard setbacks;
- projections above the maximum building height;
- rooftop access and terraces;
- amenity areas; and
- specified lot severances.
The purpose of these rules is to limit building height and mass, consider privacy issues, sun obstruction, loss of permeable surfaces and soft vegetation and allow for new dwellings and additions to existing dwellings that fit into their neighbourhoods in these respects.
It is important to note that some of the recently-built dwellings and additions would have been grandfathered under the Transition Clauses that permit any development application that was deemed complete on the dates of passage of these two by-laws to be approved under the rules that applied before these new regulations were introduced. The transition period ended for each of the two studies in June and July 2017.
The intent of these two zoning by-laws is to capture what is meant by the term ‘character’ in zoning terms and to mitigate land use impacts that may be experienced when new dwellings and additions are introduced into existing residential neighbourhoods. This does not mean whether the architectural features or building materials are similar to those of neighbouring properties. In zoning terms, the word ‘character’ may only relate to items that may be regulated under S. 34 of the Planning Act, including such matters as:
- Types of land uses/developments, such as corner lot and flag lot configurations and the introduction of the long semi-detached dwelling form
- Incidental uses of the land, particularly in the front and corner side yards and in interior yards, landscaping and amenity area, access and parking
- Location of buildings, accessory buildings and structures
- Maximum building height and accessory building and structure heights
- Minimum lot areas and lot widths
- Proportion of the land area that a building or structure may occupy, which affects the massing and bulk of these
- Floor area, including the minimum required habitable floor area on the first floor
- Spacing, which may be regulated by establishing minimum yard setbacks, minimum amount of lot width required for single, shared or double-wide driveways, and
- Character, which in addition to the land use factors noted above, is determined further by the look along the street of four land use factors that affect the look between houses and their street lot lines, and between houses on separate lots. The Streetscape Character Analysis (SCA) is required prior to developing within the Mature Neighbourhoods Overlay.
Tell us what you think!
As part of the monitoring, staff wants to hear from you. We want to make sure that the regulations are reasonable and allow for new development, while making sure that the new fits in with the existing.
Please submit your comments to the file lead, Beth Desmarais so they can be considered in the staff recommendation and report to Planning Committee.
For more information
David Wise, M.C.I.P., R.P.P.
Zoning & Interpretation Unit
Economic Development & Long-Range Planning
Tel.: 613-580-2424, ext. 13877