City to redraft zoning bylaw

Abbotsford has awarded a contract of $175,000 to Urban Systems Limited (USL) to draft the city a completely new zoning bylaw.

Abbotsford will redraft its “outdated” zoning bylaw to simplify the current system and make it easier for city staff and property owners to make changes to properties.

The city has awarded a contract of $175,000 to Urban Systems Limited (USL) to draft the city a completely new zoning bylaw.

When the District of Matsqui and the District of Abbotsford amalgamated in the mid-’90s, the zoning bylaws were merged into one. According to a staff report, the bylaws, dating back to 1985 and 1979, didn’t reflect the realities of the new Abbotsford, and pose many challenges for staff and property owners.

The report states the existing bylaw creates additional workload by using staff time and complicating zoning decisions made by council, and a new bylaw would streamline many decisions.

USL will draft the rewrite, as staff have concerns about the complexity of the task. The work will be funded through the gas tax agreement with three levels of government, which supplies the city with about $3 million each year.

The draft bylaw will eventually go to public consultation and is scheduled to be completed by May 2014.