On Monday, August 8/11 Nanaimo’s new zoning by-laws were passed by our city council. These new by-laws are meant to move us towards the Official Community Plan (OCP) that was adopted in 2008. You can read the OCP for yourself on the City of Nanaimo’s website: http://www.nanaimo.ca/EN/main/departments/Community-Planning/OfficialCommunityPlan.html
Nanaimo’s Official Community Plan has 7 Goals:
1. Manage Urban Growth
2. Build a More Sustainable Community
3. Encourage Social Enrichment
4. Promote a Thriving Economy
5. Protect and Enhance our Environment
6. Improve Mobility and Servicing
7. Work Towards a Sustainable Nanaimo
The changes are meant to allow higher density residential areas (thus greener) with “Urban Nodes”, creating more pedestrian friendly communities centers. Changes include:
– Allowing “coach house or Laneway housing” on lots a minimum of 8,000 sq. ft. (down from 10,000)
– Permitting front porches to encroach on building setback zones.
– Creating “Commercial Corridors” along major thoroughfares such as Bowen Road, with medium density, a building height minimum of 2 stories, buildings pushed forward towards the street and parking in the back.
– Creating “Urban Nodes” which will have the highest density and a mix of commercial and residential uses.
Although these regulation changes will become effective immediately, there will be amendments to come as needed and requested by the public.
Let’s hope that these changes will indeed bring us friendlier and more sustainable neighbourhoods within our beautiful city.