On March 14, 2016, City Council approved changes to the Zoning Bylaw regulations governing the development of row housing on corner lots in the RF3 Small Scale Infill Development Zone (Item 5.2) with the adoption of Bylaw 17556.

The changes, which are part of Action 16 on the Infill Roadmap, help reduce the impact of row housing on neighbouring properties, and encourage row housing in RF3 zones that is sensitive and better integrates with the surrounding community.

Row housing and other infill development is an important part of building a sustainable city. It helps create more diverse housing options in our mature areas, keeping these neighbourhoods as vibrant and sustainable as today.

Project Stage

Zoning Bylaw Council Decision

Amendments to Zoning Bylaw 12800 were approved by City Council and came into effect on March 14, 2016 (Item 5.2).

What’s Changed?

The amendments approved by Council on March 14, 2016 (Item 5.2) establish the following:

Section 140 – (RF3) Small Scale Infill Development Zone

  • An increase in the minimum interior side setback from 1.2 to 3.0 metres to allow additional area for at-grade amenity areas and enhanced landscaping. This helps provide better transition and screening between the row housing structure and the neighbouring properties.

  • A reduction to the flanking side setback from 2.5 to 2.0 metres to create a more urban row housing form, while preserving sufficient yard space to accommodate landscaping and design elements such as verandas, porches and stairways.

RF3 setbacks diagram 

  • Allowing front yard amenity areas and replacing existing rigid dimensional requirements for private outdoor amenity area with a more flexible at grade amenity area requirement of 15 metres squared. This helps increase the opportunity for usable amenity area space, which adds to the livability and quality of life of residents.

  Amenity Area Diagram

  • Requiring greater landscaping and exterior architectural treatments, such as unique facades and a minimum of one entrance door facing each public roadway. This helps create a pedestrian-friendly environment and reduce the appearance of massing from all vantage points.

Diagram: Unique building facades on RF3 Rowhousing

Section 814 – Mature Neighbourhood Overlay

A graduated contextual front setback for row housing on corner lots within the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay to:

  • help ensure reasonable blockface alignment and street presence for neighbouring properties is preserved, and
  • counteract the impact of a reduced building pocket created by the changes to the interior and flanking side setbacks.

Ancillary Changes:

  • Requiring a step back when rooftop terraces are incorporated into the design of a structure to alleviate privacy and overlook concerns between neighbouring properties.

  • Reducing the flanking side setbacks for all listed uses in the (RF3) Small Scale Infill Development Zone to encourage a pedestrian friendly and consistent urban streetscape

  • Applying regulations specific to row housing on corner sites to apartment and stacked row housing to help manage common impacts on neighbouring properties.

Public Consultation

The City of Edmonton sought input from the community and development industry on the direction of the amendments through a number of channels, including targeted stakeholder meetings, an online survey and an interactive workshop.

Feedback was used to develop the initial draft amendments presented to Executive Committee on December 7, 2015 (see item 3.3), and helped refine the revised amendments which were presented at the March 14, 2016 City Council Public Hearing.


Previous Regulations

Previous regulations in the RF3 zone allowed row housing structures on corner lots to be located as close as 1.2 metres to the interior side property line. While these side setback regulations provided a functional and buildable area for row housing, it created narrow interior side setbacks that contributing to negative impacts on neighbouring properties, such as including:
  • perceived loss of privacy from overlooking windows and rooftop terraces;
  • loss of sunlight penetration and increased shadowing on neighbouring property;
  • minimal area to install landscaping to screen the Row Housing structure; and
  • large uninterrupted expanses of wall facing neighbouring properties
The changes approved by Council help reduce these impacts.