Burlington starts work on new zoning bylaw

Burlington, Ont.—July 2, 2024— The City of Burlington is starting its New Zoning Bylaw Project that will make it easier for residents planning home renovations, developers building new homes and businesses looking to open in Burlington. This updated zoning bylaw will help by:

  • making the rules easy to use,
  • reflecting modern zoning practices,
  • streamlining development approvals and
  • implementing the objectives and policies of the new Official Plan (Burlington Official Plan, 2020).

This project will create a new Zoning Bylaw that will provide an updated set of rules for land use planning and development across Burlington.

Burlington’s new Zoning Bylaw will be done in phases. Phase 1 will focus on supporting more housing options in Burlington neighbourhoods. Residents are invited to take a quick survey until Wednesday, July 31, 2024.

Phase 1 – Residential Zones is part of an ongoing conversation about Burlington’s community housing needs and will support:

The City’s Official Plan Amendment to Increase Housing Options is being worked on at the same time as the New Zoning Bylaw Project and will inform Phase 1 – Residential Zones. It will focus on using planning tools including the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw. These new policies and regulations will benefit current and future residents and get us closer to the vision for housing in Burlington.

What is a Zoning Bylaw?

The Zoning Bylaw is a planning tool that allows City Council to set rules to determine:

  • where new buildings can go,
  • what type of buildings they can be and
  • what kind of activities and businesses can happen on a property.

Get Involved

The engagement opportunities for the New Zoning Bylaw include a Get Involved page and a baseline/data collection survey. A primer document will be posted this summer to provide the public with the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of zoning and its importance.

The first draft of the Residential Zones will be released to the public, developers and other interested parties this fall. They will be asked to provide comments on the draft bylaw leading up to and at a public open house in Q4 2024.

Updates and opportunities to get involved will be posted on the New Zoning Bylaw Get Involved page.

Burlington is a city where people, nature and businesses thrive. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at burlington.ca/subscribe and follow @CityBurlington on social media.

Quick Facts

The City’s zoning bylaw tells a property owner what their ‘as-of-right development permissions’ include. That simply means that property owners have the right to develop their property as they see fit, as long as their development complies will all zoning regulations. The Zoning Bylaw includes regulations, such as:

  • permitted land uses, such as residential, commercial and industrial,
  • height, size and location of buildings,
  • lot sizes and dimensions and
  • landscaping and parking requirements.

The Zoning Bylaw also:

  • carries out the objectives and policies of the City’s Official Plan,
  • gives the City a legal way to manage land use and future development and
  • protects members of the public from conflicting and possibly dangerous land uses in the community.

The Official Plan sets out the City’s general policies for future land use. The Zoning Bylaw puts the Plan into effect so it can be used in day-to-day business. The specific requirements in the Zoning Bylaw are legally enforceable. Construction or new development that doesn’t comply with the Zoning Bylaw is not allowed and can be used to ask for changes to an application before a building permit is issued.


Director of Community Planning, Jamie Tellier

“This is just a part of what we need to do to meet our vision for housing in Burlington:

Everyone is welcome in Burlington. Burlington is a city where all current and future residents have access to the housing options that meet their needs at all stages of life, and that are attainable at all income levels.

This new zoning bylaw will help to enable more housing in our community. We are updating our zoning bylaw in phases and Phase 1 will address residential zoning to offer housing solutions to property owners, builders and developers to look at ways to add more types of housing across Burlington.

We want to make sure everyone understands the new zoning bylaw and are sharing information at getinvolvedburlington.ca/newzoningbylaw. As we go through the project, we’ll also reach out to the community for feedback to help us create the new zoning bylaw.”

Links and Resources

New Zoning Bylaw Get Involved page

New Zoning Bylaw survey

Housing Strategy Get Involved page

Housing Strategy



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