City presents first draft of new zoning bylaw

Yellowknife City Hall. (Supplied by MyTrueNorthNow.com staff.)
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The city’s new draft zoning bylaw should boost development by freeing up land and adding more flexibility for residents, according to city administration.

The draft document was presented to the governance and priorities committee on Monday.

Charlsey White, Director of Planning and Development says the new bylaw is less regulatory and splits city lands into fewer zones, while it increases the number of types of permitted uses and encourages development.

The total number of zones has been reduced from 30 to 22 and the total number of residential zones has been reduced to four from nine, which should allow developers more flexibility, added White.

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Tourism and agriculture are among the new types of uses for land that have been added to the bylaw.

Open option parking has been added, which gives more flexibility about how much parking is needed for future developments. White said 40 per cent of the land used downtown is taken up by on-street parking, which cuts into the city’s already limited land supply downtown.

White said this would help free up space for densification in the downtown area.

“I’ve been hearing from residents wanting to do more flexible things with their lots,” said Councillor Julian Morse. “We want more flexibility for residents and less ambiguity for whether things are going to be appealed or not.

Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty has previously touted the bylaw review as presenting new business opportunities for businesses, specifically for agriculture and tourism businesses

“The zoning bylaw really has the nuts and bolts of what’s allowed in all the different areas in town,” Alty said in an interview with MyTrueNorthNow.com. “So we have to make sure the zoning bylaw aligns with those goals and objectives that we’ve set out in our community plan.” 

The draft bylaw will now go for public review — the city said they’re planning to host an open house on September 22 and 23, with a final draft presented to council in November.

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