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Administration is preparing amendments to Zoning Bylaw 12800 to reduce the parking requirements for eating and drinking establishments in main street commercial areas outside of downtown, as part of the Pedestrian Commercial Shopping Street Overlay Review.

These amendments will be presented to City Council in 2017.

Reducing parking requirements in select commercial main street areas strengthens the vibrancy and character of these areas by encouraging pedestrian activity, and preventing existing buildings from being demolished to meet parking requirements.

It also helps support economic development by reducing barriers to opening new businesses.

What’s Changing?

Phase One

At the April 4, 2016, Public Hearing, City Council passed Zoning Bylaw amendments that reduce the parking requirements for eating and drinking establishments in three main street areas: 124th Street, Old Strathcona and the Jasper Avenue corridor west of 109 Street.

You can read the Public Hearing reports and the signed bylaw, including details on the amended parking requirements, in the April 4, 2016 meeting minutes (scroll to agenda item 5.5). 

Phase Two

Phase two of the project will determine more areas where the parking reduction for eating and drinking establishments could be expanded, such as other commercial main streets across the city.

At the June 21, 2016, Executive Committee meeting, the committee approved administration’s recommendation to look at parking reductions for eating and drinking establishments as part of the high quality main street project.

Public Consultation

Parking Survey

Thank you to everyone who provided their input to our parking survey in February. Results from the survey were summarized and shared with Executive Committee on June 21, 2016.

More opportunities for engagement will be available through the high quality main streets project throughout late 2016 and early 2017. More information on engagement opportunities is available on the project website.

Current Regulations

Section 54.2 Schedule 1

of the Zoning Bylaw 12800 sets out the minimum number of off-street parking spaces required for each type of development. These regulations apply equally to all zones in the city, with variations in some overlays (such as the Pedestrian Shopping Street Overlay) and the Downtown zones.

These regulations currently require one parking space per 3.6 square metres of public space for restaurants and specialty food establishments and 1 space per 3 square metres for bars, neighbourhood pubs and nightclubs.

Parking requirements for restaurants, specialty food establishments, and bars and neighbourhood pubs are among the highest relative to other commercial uses. For example:

  • general retail use requires one space per 40 square metres of floor area
  • office use requires one space per 29.4 square metres of floor area, and
  • health services requires one space per 22.2 square metres of floor area

Additionally, 74 per cent of all new eating and drinking establishments in the three study areas identified in phase one were granted a variance to the minimum parking requirement.

A review of similar cities across Canada found that other municipalities have considerably lower general parking requirements, and also reduce parking requirements in main street commercial areas.


For More Information

James Veltkamp

Title Planner, Zoning Bylaw



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