Edmonton’s New Zoning Regulations for January 1, 2024

Katie Thompson
Last Updated: December 28, 2023

City of Edmonton council has recently set in motion new bylaws effective January 1, 2024 that will allow for greater density and affordability in neighborhoods across Edmonton.   As a result, the need for new expanding and supporting infrastructure will be reduced and the focus will be on using and upgrading existing infrastructure (i.e. roads, manholes, lights, sidewalks, playgrounds, etc.). Here we will review some of the key highlights that will take place in 2024 (source).


  • The number of zoning bylaws will be reduced from 46 to 24.
  • The number of residential zones will be reduced to 6 from 16.
  • New bylaws will allow for greater density and affordable housing across all Edmonton neighborhoods.
  • The bylaw changes are intended to support 15-minute communities making goods and services more accessible and promote pedestrian accessible developments.

Small Scale Residential Zone

  • Single-home zoning bylaw is eliminated as of January 1, 2024.   Single detached residential, semi-detached residentials and small-scale infills will all fit under the new Small Scale Residential zone.   The key here is that it will be a flexible residential zone that permits secondary suites, zero lot line housing, reduced setbacks (distance between house and street), cluster housing, row housing, duplexes, etc.
  • Property owners in Edmonton will be able to build three-storey townhouses or apartments, rowhouses or duplexes with up to eight units in any residential area citywide.
  • Infills will be permitted in any residential area in Edmonton reducing the red tape required to rezone the property.

Single Detached house in Edmonton, Alberta

Medium Scale Residential Zone

  • For Medium Scale Residential Zone will allow commercial uses at ground level of residential buildings to encourage mixed use development and local services

Large Scale Residential Zone

  • For Large Scale Residential zones - the limits on ceiling height and floor area have been removed. 

Neighborhood Mixed Use

  • Mixed Use Neighborhood Zones will allow for small-scale mixed-use buildings, up to 4 storeys in height, within neighborhood commercial centers. It is proposed to enable a wide range of uses that support housing, recreation, business and employment opportunities at a scale that can be more easily integrated within neighborhoods.  Building types that would be allowed in this zone include 4 story mixed use main street developments, primarily with ground-level commercial and commercial or residential development above. This zone also allows for residential-only buildings, such as smaller apartment buildings or row housing towards the interior of larger sites, provided commercial development faces the abutting streets.
  • A wide range of commercial and service-oriented uses are proposed with floor area maximums to limit the scale of these activities within neighborhoods and ensure larger establishments are located at the periphery of neighborhoods.
  • In mixed use zones, there will be restrictions for vehicle support and other auto-oriented uses are proposed to maintain street oriented development and a pedestrian-friendly environment.
  • New mixed-zone bylaws will allow for combined residential, business, and commercial development in the same location. Small restaurants, coffee shops and retail stores will be encouraged to open in neighborhoods (i.e.  Dogpatch pub restaurant located in residential area in Riverdale, Edmonton)

Neighborhood Commercial Zone

  • This zone consolidates two commercial zones to support smaller commercial businesses accessible to pedestrians.  The floor space for these commercial businesses will be restricted to promote small businesses and allow the larger establishments on the outskirts of neighborhoods.

Acme Meat Market and Biera Restaurant in Ritchie Neighborhood in Edmonton, Alberta

General Commercial Zone

  • These developments are geared towards vehicle-oriented developments at different scales.
  • This zone is intended to repurpose a buildings that had previously had limited use.  A broader range of commercial building uses will encourage more investment in Edmonton.  

Business Commercial Zone

  • This zone consolidates two commercial zones that promote vehicle oriented developments alongside major highways and roads.
  • Building heights will be limited to 16 meters with discretionary measures for hotels.

Business Employment Zone

  • Building heights will be limited to 16 meters
  • More permitted commercial building uses to reduce the need for rezoning
  • Clear regulations for building design requirements especially for development with roadside visibility.

Medium Industrial Zone

  • New uses will allow for new business opportunities such as automotive sales, rentals, gas stations, car washes and service stations.
  • Offices are proposed to be added to this zone to reduce future rezoning requirements.

Heavy Industrial Zone

  • Additional uses such as major utilities, minor utilities and natural resource developments will be added to this zone
  • Most activities permitted will be heavy industrial in nature

River Valley Zone

  • Residential developments are proposed to be limited to existing single detached housing
  • Ultimately, this zone is intended to preserve the natural amenities of the River Valley.

Natural Areas Zone

  • Special event usage to be removed from this zone to remove any negative impacts to these natural areas.

Neighborhood Parks and Services Zone

  • Increase in building height of 14 meters for greater flexibility with community buildings (i.e. gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms, etc.)
  • Reduction in the amount of uses in neighborhood parks and services zone.

Parks and Services Zone

  • Increase in maximum height of buildings to 16 meters (compared to 10 meters) for more flexibility.  Bylaw variances will sometimes be accommodated.

Public Utility Zone

  • No significant changes to this zoning.

Urban Facilities Zone

  • No significant changes to this zoning.

Urban Institution Zone

  • No significant changes to this zoning.

Alternative Jurisdiction Zone

  • No significant changes to this zoning.

Agriculture Zone

  • Preservation of agricultural land and prohibiting agricultural land from being subdivided.
  • Maximum of one parcel is allowed to be subdivided out from a quarter section.

Future Urban Development Zone

  • Zoned for agricultural operations, farmstead developments and other limited residential and rural activities.  It is a combined zone of Industrial Reserve and Urban Reserve zones into one zone.

The city has done a major overhaul of the outdated zoning bylaws in Edmonton, Alberta that will slowly transform the Edmonton landscape. If you are looking for experienced civil engineering company to guide you through development projects in Edmonton and across Alberta, be sure to engage with Bolson Engineering and Environmental Services.  We’ll be happy to consult with you as your trusted engineering partner.

About the author

With more than 12 years in human resources, Katie brings important process management skills to the table. Her direct experience with senior management in the construction industry helps her understand your engineering project goals. Her creative forward-thinking propels Bolson toward exciting new business opportunities.

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