Get involved!

On November 8, 2018 more than 50 community members came to hear a presentation by Dr. Dave Witty about Designing Colwood's Future.

View Dr. Witty's presentation

The presentation spurred an interesting discussion.

  • How do we encourage progressive development in Colwood?
    Discussion: Provide clear design guidelines. Host design competitions and charettes. Collaborate with the development community. Be flexible and let solutions be iterative.
  • How do cities afford wide sidewalks and vibrant public spaces? Won't the higher infrastructure costs be passed on to new home buyers, impacting affordability?
    Discussion: In town centres with higher density, there are a greater number of taxpayers to contribute to infrastructure. In suburbs, fewer taxpayers pay for long distances of infrastructure. Costs are comparable.
  • I have a big truck for hunting and a boat for fishing and I need a big lot to store them on. How do small lot, high density cities allow for that?
    Discussion: The OCP envisions little change in established Colwood neighbourhoods. Zoning changes will primarily impact town centres (Colwood Corners and Royal Bay) and transit corridors (along Sooke Road).
  • Can the concept of European Green Cities fit within our North American culture?
    Discussion: We are talking about setting the stage for change over 40-60 years. Young people are living differently - driving less, choosing jobs based on place. Colwood has great opportunities to enhance its sense of place in order to thrive.
  • What can the city do to foster greater collaboration with developers?
    Discussion: Visionary zoning bylaw created in collaboration with development community. Clear design guidelines. Economic incentives.
  • Can zoning changes help ease traffic congestion?
    Discussion: Establish transportation corridors with higher density. Invest in public transportation. Energize walkable town centre nodes. Connect multiple nodes. Be patient - benefits take 10 years to realize.


What is a Zoning Bylaw?

A Zoning Bylaw regulates use and density of land. It defines how and where buildings may be constructed and establishes zones where various land uses are permitted – such as commercial zones, residential zones and industrial zones. The City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) lays out the vision and guidelines for Colwood, and the Zoning Bylaw implements them.

Why do we need to review the Land Use Bylaw?

The existing Land Use Bylaw was originally adopted in 1989. Over the past 30 years the bylaw has been incrementally revised and amended for housekeeping purposes and in response to emerging issues.

The OCP has reinforced the need to update the existing Land Use Bylaw to ensure it reflects the plan’s visions for growth management and land use, streets and mobility, housing, climate change, park areas and natural assets, built and natural infrastructure, arts and culture, food systems, and the economy. Following industry standards, the Land Use Bylaw will be retitled as Zoning Bylaw.

A full review is an opportunity to involve the community in clarifying, simplifying and aligning the bylaw with the new Colwood Official Community Plan.

Why does this matter to me?
As a resident, business owner or land owner in Colwood, zoning will affect your options related to things like subdividing land, building a secondary suite or accessory building, commercial business uses and more.

How can I get involved?
The project will involve residents and stakeholders through workshops, public meetings, surveys, and direct input. See ‘Get Involved’ below for ways to connect.

Project Phases

After the project initiation, specific tasks, deliverables and milestones will be determined based on findings and public input. The review will be completed in three phases:

  • Phase 1 Engage the community in identifying issues
  • Phase 2 Technical Review by professional partners
  • Phase 3 Draft and present an updated Zoning Bylaw for review
  • Phase 4 Engage the community in refining and finalizing the Bylaw 

Following phase four, the draft bylaw will be presented to Council for consideration and adoption through a public hearing process.

Get Involved