Will you want to convert a single family St. Catharines home into a legal duplex? Do you know the St. Catharines zoning bylaws associated with doing that? When you’re looking at properties in St. Catharines, you’ll want to know a thing or two about what you can and can’t do to the investment you may purchase. Historically, understanding the St. Catharines zoning bylaws has been no easy feat—even city hall staffers couldn’t figure them out before they revamped them in 2013!
So, we’ve compiled this handy how-to guide to help you know what you can do with your possible investment property.
But first, let’s answer a simple question.
What are St. Catharines zoning bylaws?
A zoning bylaw is a document that contains the rules and regulations for the development of land. So it tells you about regulations around how you can use your lot, how large it can be, how tall your building can be, etc. If you need information on the St. Catharines zoning bylaws, you’ll want to reference Zoning Bylaw 2013-283, which was passed on December 16, 2013.
Okay, so how do I get Zoning Bylaw 2013-283?
You can get the St. Catharines zoning bylaws by getting in touch with the City of St. Catharines Planning and Building Services Department. You can also get the document on StCatharines.ca (Copyright City of St. Catharines 2014). However, be aware that the official printed publication takes precedence if it ever differs from the version on the website (read more in this disclaimer).
How do I use Zoning Bylaw 2013-283?
Now that you know what a zoning bylaw is and how to access the St. Catharines zoning bylaws, you’ll want to know how to most easily use them. To use Zoning Bylaw 2013-283, follow these steps.
Locate your property on a map.
Go to Section 15 to determine in which zone category your property is located. Maps in a zoning bylaw are called “schedules.” On the schedule, find your property. You’ll notice it is coloured. The legend gives you a symbol or abbreviation for that colour, like R1. This represents your zone category. You can get an explanation of each zone symbol or abbreviation on the first page of Section 4.
Make sure your property isn’t the subject of a zoning bylaw amendment.
A zoning bylaw isn’t a static document. It is amended over time as demands and policies change. Find out if your property is the subject of a zoning bylaw amendment in Section 13. To get the most up-to-date information, you may want to contact the City’s Planning and Building Services Department.
Determine what uses are permitted on your property.
Can you run a business from your home, such as a day care? Can you start a community garden? Learn about how you can and can’t use your property in Section 4.
Find out what standards may apply to the uses on your property.
What are your minimum yard requirements? How tall can your building be? Go to Sections 5 to 11 to figure out which standards apply to your property.
Consult “General Provisions.”
General Provisions apply to all properties in all zones throughout the city, and they are things like the number of principal buildings on the lot, and outdoor storage regulations. Find them in Section 2.
Know your property’s parking requirements.
You need to be aware of the parking and loading requirements for your property. This is especially important if you are considering changing your property’s use, or adding a new use to it. Review Section 3.
Contact a zoning technician for more information.
Need to know more? The City of St. Catharines’ Planning and Building Services Department can advise you on questions such as how you can use your land, and what types of building structures you are allowed.
Disclaimer (from StCatharines.ca)
The City of St. Catharines Zoning Maps and related by-law information are provided as a public service. In any situation where the printed official Map or By-law document of the City of St. Catharines differ from electronic versions contained in this Web site, the official printed publications take precedence. Users of the electronic information should verify it with the printed official information before acting on it.
Content you access here is not necessarily an exact and/or current reproduction of official documents. For example, by-law revisions may be in progress or Internet browser display capability may affect Map presentation formats. The City of St. Catharines does not warrant the accuracy of these electronic versions and accepts no responsibility for any damage suffered by any person as a result of decisions made – or actions based – on informational content accessed by way of its Internet site.