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On August 22, 2016, City Council approved changes to privacy screening requirements, window alignment submission requirements in mature neighbourhoods and introduced stepback requirements for rooftop terraces with the adoption of Bylaw 17727.

Project Stage

Project Stage: Council Decision

Amendments to Zoning Bylaw 12800 were approved by City Council on August 22, 2016 (Item 3.16).

What's Changed?

The approved amendments establish the following changes:

1. New Privacy Screening Definition

Privacy Screening means a feature that obscures direct and otherwise unimpeded sightlines. Common examples include: vegetative screening, such as shrubs and trees, lattice, masonry or wooden walls, parapet walls, translucent glass or any combination of these or like features. Privacy Screening does not include a balustrade railing or similar railing system.

2. Height Limits for Privacy Screening

Maximum height requirements for Fence or Privacy Screening built on the ground:

Maximum height requirements for Privacy Screening built on a Platform Structure:

  • Maximum height of privacy screening constructed on a rooftop terrace shall not exceed 1.5 m (5 ft).
If your proposed privacy screen is taller than what is permitted, then a development permit will be required.

3. Rooftop Terrace Stepbacks

Rooftop terraces are a growing trend in Edmonton’s infill and greenfield development areas. While these structures provide desirable amenity areas, they can create overlook and privacy issues for neighbours. Requirements for stepping back rooftop terraces from the face of the building below, can reduce overlook and privacy issues between neighbouring property owners.

Stepback requirements (see Section 61 of Zoning Bylaw 12800) for rooftop terraces now apply to all development on sites abutting a zone where Single Detached Housing is a permitted use or abutting a site zoned in the (RF5) Row Housing Zone.

Image of a stepback development

4. Window Alignment Submission Requirements in Mature Neighbourhoods

If your project is in the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay, is two or more storeys in height and is proposing an interior side setback of less than 2.0 m, you are now required to provide information regarding the abutting properties’ window and amenity area locations. This information can be provided on your site plan, elevation drawing, as photographs, or aerial photos. (Section 814.3(4)).

Public Consultation

The City of Edmonton is committed to citizen engagement.

The bylaw amendments were informed by feedback gathered through:

What is privacy screening?

Privacy Screening means a feature that obscures direct and otherwise unimpeded sightlines. Common examples include: vegetative screening, such as shrubs and trees, lattice, masonry or wooden walls, parapet walls, translucent glass or any combination of these or like features. Privacy Screening does not include a balustrade railing or similar railing system.

When is Privacy Screening Required?

The Zoning Bylaw requires privacy screening on decks, balconies or raised terraces located within a rear yard or interior side yard and greater than 1.0 metre above grade on properties within the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (Reference Section 814.3.8 of Zoning Bylaw 12800).

What is a platform structure?

The Zoning Bylaw defines Platform Structures as a raised structure on which people can stand, that projects from the wall of a building, may be surrounded by guardrails, parapet walls or similar features, and is intended for use as an Amenity Area. Common structures examples include: balconies, raised terraces and decks. This definition does not include a Rooftop Terrace. (Reference Section 6.1(87) of Zoning Bylaw 12800).

What is the Zoning Bylaw?

The Zoning Bylaw contains the rules and regulations for the development of land in Edmonton. For the purpose of land development, the City of Edmonton is divided into zones.

There are 15 residential zones and seven commercial zones. The zone that a particular property is located in determines the way a site can be laid out (lot coverage and setbacks) and shapes the form of buildings (height and size).

Guidelines are also in place for developing in mature neighbourhoods; please see the regulations in the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay for detailed information.

All municipalities in Alberta are required to have a Zoning Bylaw. 

How will changes to privacy screening affect infill development?

Changes to privacy screening requirements are intended to ensure an agreeable level of privacy is preserved between existing and new development.

When will the changes take effect?
Changes took effect on August 22, 2016.

For More Information

Edmonton Service Centre

2nd Floor, 10111 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB  T5J 0J4

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday
8am to 4:30pm

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email developmentservices@edmonton.ca

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