To find out how your property can be used, check your property’s zoning.

What is Zoning?

Zoning guides the growth of the community in an orderly way to avoid conflicts between incompatible uses (zoning sets the rules; it’s a regulation). The Zoning Bylaw establishes the permitted use of land within the City as well as form, density, height, yard setbacks, lot coverage, and lot size.

Zoning Bylaw No. 4500 (Updated March 4, 2024). See a list of recent updates to the Zoning Bylaw at the bottom of this page.

(Note: this document is very large in size and you may experience a delay or difficulty opening it.)

To view a specific section of the Zoning Bylaw, select one of the chapters shown below:


  • Schedule C - Watercourses and Marine Foreshore
  • Schedule E - Neighbourhood and Area Plan Form and Character Design Guidelines

Zoning on NanaimoMap

NanaimoMap is the City of Nanaimo's interactive mapping site. The link below will lead you to the zoning layer of NanaimoMap where you can find out your property’s zoning*:

Zoning Map

*Zones shown in NanaimoMap may not be exact. To confirm the zoning, please contact Current Planning staff.

Use Index

The Use Index* is a companion document to the City of Nanaimo's Zoning Bylaw 2011 NO. 4500. The document below will assist you in determining which uses are permitted within a zone:

Use Index

*The Use Index may not always be up to date. To confirm that a use is permitted within a zone, please contact Planning staff.


Recently Updated

The amendments listed below have been recently adopted by Council and have been incorporated into the consolidated Zoning Bylaw.

  • 2024-MAR-04 (Amendment Bylaw 4500.219) - General amendments throughout the Zoning Bylaw, including:
    • Removing setbacks for heat pumps;
    • Consolidating site-specific densities and building heights in residential zones into tables, for convenience;
    • Updating legal addresses of site-specific zoning provisions; and
    • Housekeeping and formatting fixes.
  • 2022-JUL-04 (Amendment Bylaw 4500.199) - Alignment of Zoning Bylaw with new City Plan and migration of Development Permit Area guidelines to Part 18 of the Zoning Bylaw, which can be found here:Part 18 – Development Permit Area (DPA) Guidelines. Other highlights include:
    • New Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) guidelines for watercourses, marine foreshore, and terrestrial ESAs under DPA1;
    • New Sea Level Rise guidelines under DPA3; and
    • Combined form & character guidelines under DPA8 and new Development Permit exemptions
  • 2022-FEB-14 (Amendment Bylaw 4500.186) – Introduction of short-term rental regulations. See the amendment Bylaw
  • 2021-DEC-06 (Amendment Bylaw 4500.182) – General amendments throughout the Zoning Bylaw, including:
    • Revisions to the definitions of gross floor area;
    • Recognizing air space parcels;
    • Reducing side yard setback requirements for heat pumps;
    • Exempting guardrails on retaining walls from fence height;
    • Requiring an additional setback on flanking side yard setbacks along major roads;
    • Updating the parking and sustainable transportation incentives in ‘Schedule D’; and
    • Housekeeping and formatting fixes.

    Also see: Summary of Amendments (2021-DEC-06).

    • 2021-JUN-21 (Amendment Bylaw 4500.180) – Revisions to ‘Schedule D’ of the Zoning Bylaw to provide incentives for purpose-built affordable housing and rental developments.
    • 2020-APR-06 (Amendment Bylaw 4500.149) – Update to the ‘Home-Based Business’ regulations.
    • 2019-DEC-02 (Amendment Bylaw 4500.158) – General amendments throughout the Zoning Bylaw, including:
      • Allowing secondary suites in modular homes;
      • Exempting service rooms from gross floor area;
      • Updating perimeter wall height regulations; and
      • Housekeeping and formatting fixes.
    • 2019-NOV-04 (Amendment Bylaw 4500.154) – Revisions to ‘Schedule D’ of the Zoning Bylaw to provide incentives for developments exceeding the BC Energy Step Code requirements.


    Contact Us

    Current Planning Section 250-755-4429 ext. 4275

    Last updated: June 20, 2024

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