Rezoning Applications

If you want to change your property’s zoning, City staff can advise you on how to apply for rezoning.

What is Rezoning?

Every property in Nanaimo is classified with a “zone”, which determines the types of activities permitted on the property, the location and size of buildings that can be constructed, and the size of lots that can be created.

A rezoning is the public process required to change land use or increase density on a property beyond what is permitted by the Zoning Bylaw—usually by changing the zone of the property.  

Find out how your property is zoned

Do I need to apply for rezoning or a variance?

While such conditions such as building setbacks or height can be varied through a Development Variance Permit, changing the permitted uses or density in a particular zone requires a change to the Zoning Bylaw through a rezoning application.

If you would like to use your property for an activity not currently permitted under your zoning, you can apply to rezone to a zone under which that use is allowed. You can also apply for rezoning in order to increase the number of residential units or Gross Floor Area permitted for development on property.

What is the process of rezoning a property?

1. Submit Application: Process Begins

Contact Staff about application requirements. Submit your complete application to Staff, pay the application fee and install onsite signage.

2. Comprehensive Review: Months 1-3

As part of the application review, Staff will refer your application to other City departments and external agencies to ensure we comprehensively review your application. Further information may be requested.

3. Council: 1st & 2nd Readings: Months 3-4

A Staff report and bylaw are forwarded to Council for consideration of 1st & 2nd readings. At this point, Council just receives the report.

4. Public Hearing: Months 4-5

Statutory notification to the public occurs and onsite signage is updated. The applicant presents the application to Council and the public may speak for or against the application. No new information can be presented to Council by the applicant or the public regarding the application following the close of the public hearing.

5. Council: 3rd Reading: Months 4-5

Council considers 3rd Reading of the bylaw based on input from City staff, CPDC and the Public Hearing.

6. Legal Documentation: Months 5-6

If necessary, this is the point you pay for and register covenants, rights-of-way, and road dedication plans. The bylaw is also sent to the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure for approval.

7. Council: 4th Reading (Bylaw Adoption): Months 6-7

Council considers 4th Reading (adoption) of the bylaw. If approved, the rezoning process is complete.

How much does rezoning cost?

As every application ranges in complexity, there is no fixed cost for rezoning. Below is a list of potential costs:

  • Rezoning application fee:
    • Lot under 0.2 hectares: $1000
    • Lot over 0.2 hectares: $1500
  • Assembling the application submission requirements (plans and supporting documents)
  • Installation and updating of required on-site signage
  • Revising plans and supporting documents, if necessary
  • Public hearing fee (based on cost of newspaper advertising)
  • Preparation of legal documents, if required
  • Securing letters of credit/bonding, if required
  • Community Amenity Contribution Policy

Rezoning Fee Schedule (PDF)

What do I need to apply for rezoning?

As every property and rezoning request is unique, application requirements can vary. Before you apply, please contact the City to find out your application requirements. Once complete, submit your application to Current Planning & Subdivision staff at the Service & Resource Centre.

How will my application be evaluated by City staff?

Your application will be reviewed to assess whether the proposed rezoning is consistent with the policies contained within the Official Community Plan (OCP) and (if applicable) neighbourhood plan.

As each property and rezoning request is unique, other factors may arise that will need to be addressed as part of your application.  A meeting with City staff early on in the rezoning process will help to identify any of these issues.

The City's BC Energy Step Code Rezoning Policy applies to  to rezonings for new construction in buildings under Part 9 (houses and small buildings) and Part 3 (large and complex buildings) of the BC Building Code.

Contact Us

Current Planning Section 250-755-4429

Last updated: November 24, 2021

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