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The City is proposing changes to make permitting easier for new businesses opening in existing buildings and for people working from home. The City is also proposing clearer rules for special events like community parties, customer appreciation events, and festivals.

Project Overview

The Zoning Bylaw sets out rules for all development and activities on private property in Edmonton.  

Change of use developments are when a new business moves into an existing building, for example a retail store opening where a hair salon use to be located. Change of use can also include  when the activities of the use intensify, such as adding more seats to a restaurant.

A development permit is also required to operate a business from home. Minor Home-Based Businesses are operated in the home by a resident and are not usually detectable from the outside of the property.

The Zoning Bylaw can be unclear about why development permits are needed for temporary events like a backyard wedding, a farmers market, a seasonal garden centre, community league parties, or a music festival.

This project seeks to streamline the development permit process for new businesses opening in existing buildings and Minor Home-Based Businesses. It also establishes a clear framework for temporary special events to support community activities, businesses and festivals.

Project Stage

This project is currently at the proposed amendment stage.

Project Stage: Proposed AmendmentOn June 5, 2018, Urban Planning Committee advanced the proposed changes for change of use developments, Minor Home Based Businesses, and Special Events to a future City Council Public Hearing.  The proposed amendments will be brought forward for consideration at a City Council Public Hearing, for a final decision, in November 2018.

Public Engagement

The City of Edmonton is committed to citizen engagement.

A four-week review period beginning on July 16, 2018, was provided to internal and external stakeholders to provide comments on a draft of this report. 

Draft Regulations

In order to reduce these barriers, City staff propose removing the need for development permits for some change of use developments and Minor Home Based Businesses.
The proposed text amendments includes allowing activities on a site to change without a development permit, if:

  • They are a permitted use
  • No changes are being made to the outside of the buildings
  • The uses comply with any associated special land use provisions

An implication of this change is that new businesses moving into existing buildings will not be required to provide any additional parking. They will instead be able to make use of the existing parking on site.

The proposed changes also remove the requirement for Minor Home Based Businesses to get a development permit, provided they comply with relevant regulations. Minor Home Based Businesses will still be required to get a business licence.

The proposed regulations for temporary events include the introduction of Special Events as a new land use. Special Events will be subject to a number of regulations to mitigate potential nuisances to adjacent properties. It is also proposed that some Special Events, including those that are 5 days or less, will not need development permits.

For More Information

Katherine Pihooja

Title Planner, Zoning Bylaw



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