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Zoning study on Residential Conversions

Project Status: 

Update - August 2015

Following a year-long study of the zoning rules around residential conversions, Ottawa City Council adopted By-law 2014-189 on April 23, 2014. This By-law, informally known as the Residential Conversions By-law, amended the Comprehensive Zoning By-law rules governing the conversion of residential use buildings so as to increase the number of principal dwelling units.

The main effect of 2014-189 was to eliminate the distinction between purpose-built buildings of a given number of dwelling units versus existing buildings that are modified or converted so as to contain more dwelling units. As a result of the zoning, a conversion that results in a Three-unit Dwelling or Low-rise Apartment Dwelling is required to meet the zoning requirements for the resulting use, and does not benefit from any special consideration by virtue of being a conversion.

As of August 18, 2015, By-law 2014-189 remains under appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board and so the changes it introduced are not reflected in the online consolidation of the Comprehensive Zoning By-law 2008-250. Following the City's normal practice when a zoning amendment is appealed, the City applies the most restrictive provisions of either the pre-existing Zoning By-law or the Zoning By-law as amended. In the case of the Residential Conversions By-law, nearly all of the changes resulted in more restrictive zoning provisions.

Questions about the status of the Residential Conversions By-law should be directed to the project lead:

Tim J. Moerman, MCIP, RPP
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development 
Tel.: 613-580-2424 ext. 13944