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Zoning Codes Explanation

Zoning Codes

The City of Ottawa Zoning By-law is made available on the web site for information, however confirmation on the zoning provisions should be sought through the City’s development information officers (DIO), by contacting 311 and asking for the DIO for the geographic area in question.

Zone Codes – Explanation

Each property is designated by a zone code that is formed from one or more parts; a number of examples are provided below, however, for a more in-depth explanation of the parts of the zone code, refer to Sections 29 through 46 - Interpreting Zoning Information, found under Part 1 of the City's Zoning By-law.

Example: R2B

R2 means this is the Primary Zone (in this case Residential, 2nd density). It is a land use category with specific permitted uses and regulations. The primary zones contain two characters, which are either two letters or one letter and one number.

B means this is a Subzone (in this case the B specifies specific minimum lot areas, lot width, heights and yards). A subzone is a sub-category of the primary zone, and are either a letter or a number. Subzones impose regulations to deal with the unique characteristics of an area while maintaining the purpose of a Primary Zone. Subzones are indicated by either a letter or number added to the primary zone.

Example: MD H(30) S23-h

MD means this is the Primary Zone (in this case Mixed Use Downtown Zone).

H(30) means this is a Suffix to a zone. A suffix adds a single regulation to a zone (in this example “H” is a maximum height limit in metres, and in other instances “F” is the maximum floor space index permitted. The number in the brackets is the maximum number permitted (in this case a maximum height limit of 30 metres).

S23 means that there is a Schedule associated with this zone. A schedule is a document forming part of the by-law that contains detailed regulations or complex descriptions in a visual format. Schedules are located under Part 17 of the by-law. S23, means that it is the twenty-third document in the list of schedules.

-h means there is a holding symbol associated with the zone. Where a holding symbol is shown as an “-h” at the end of the zone code, the uses permitted under the zone (e.g., in this case in the Mixed Use Downtown Zone) are not permitted until the holding symbol is removed.

Example: VM2[53r]

VM means this is the Primary Zone (in this case Village Mainstreet).

2 means this is Subzone 2 (in this case reflecting a different character than the primary zone, or the VM1 zone).

[53r] means an Exception zone, with the “r” indicating it is a rural exception zone. This is a modification to the zoning of a site which cannot be reflected by using either suffixes or schedules. In this case, this is exception number 53r, and can be found in the section of the by-law containing the rural exceptions.

All exceptions can be found in Part 15 of the by-law. Urban exceptions are found in section 239 and those with an "r" are in the rural exceptions section 240.           

Rural Area and Greenbelt

The City of Ottawa Zoning By-law contains zoning designations for all areas of the City, however, a content section has been created to provide easy access to those sections that are applicable to the Rural and Greenbelt portions of the by-law.