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The High-Rise Apartment Zone (RA9) is the tallest and highest density standard zone in Edmonton’s Zoning Bylaw. The zone is typically located in central neighbourhoods, as well as along existing and planned LRT routes.

The properties that are zoned High-Rise Apartment Zone (RA9) are shown in this map. The purpose of the project is to ensure that the rules in the zone work well together so that it is possible to develop a high-rise apartment, particularly on smaller development sites.

The objective is to enable the development of modest high-rise apartments (15-20 storeys) on sites zoned for high-rise apartments.

High-Rise Overlay Regulations

Additionally, in three areas of the city, the High-Rise Residential Overlay applies, and it reduces the allowable height by more than 50%, resulting in approximately six-storey buildings.

The High-Rise Residential Overlay adds more development regulations than the basic High-Rise Apartment Zone (RA9). The added regulations help improve the urban design.

This project represents an opportunity to create better high-rise development in Edmonton.

Project Stage

This project is currently at the draft amendment stage.

The updated draft amendments will be brought forward for consideration at the second Urban Planning Committee meeting in 2018.

This meeting will give the Urban Planning Committee an opportunity to give City staff further guidance before the proposed amendments go to City Council Public Hearing for a final decision.  

A target date for the amendments to advance to City Council Public Hearing for a final decision has not yet been set.

Public Consultation

Industry and community workshops were hosted in the first quarter of 2017, and they were accompanied by an online survey, which closed on April 10, 2017. View the workshop results and the online survey results

As a result of the feedback collected from participants, some options were prepared and circulated to workshop participants. Three options were in circulation between March 23 and April 10, 2017.

The feedback received during the circulation was used to refine the options and determine a recommended option.

The feedback favoured Option 1, which proposed to keep one zone for urban and suburban areas, expand the mix of uses, and add urban design regulations.

Option 1 was presented to Urban Planning Committee on June 7, 2017 (Item 6.5), and approved with the following motion:

That Administration complete additional work, including development modeling and testing and return to committee with a draft mark-up of the proposed text amendment and the modeling analysis including current status of High-Rise Residential Overlay.

Draft Amendment Review

The October 2017 draft amendment was open for review and comment from October 27 to November 21, 2017. The draft Zoning Bylaw text amendment included:

  • Allowing more types of uses, such as child care services, convenience stores, and small restaurants to be built as permitted uses (without notification or appeal powers)
  • Allowing other types of uses to be possible, such as hotels, general retail stores, and minor alcohol sales, if they meet additional regulations
  • Increased height to enable high-rise buildings (18-20 storeys)
  • Introducing new urban design regulations to make the buildings look better, and improve the experience for pedestrians at street level
  • Changing the limits for minimum site size and maximum number of units so that a tall building can be built on an urban site

Read the comments received from the circulation. Due to the extent of changes to the draft amendment resulting from the circulation comments, another draft amendment was circulated in December 2017.

This draft shows changes to each aspect of the zone, compared to the October draft. The main themes of the input on the draft include:

  • The mix of uses
  • The intensity of the site (height, density, floor area ratio)
  • The location of the building and uses on the site, including size of setbacks and stepbacks, and how the building looks and feels at ground level (windows, entrances, shape of the building)
  • Governance (ability to appeal, discretion of development officer)

The City of Edmonton is committed to citizen engagement. For more information about involvement opportunities, or to share your views, please contact the project planner, James Veltkamp.

For More Information

James Veltkamp

Title Planner, Zoning Bylaw



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