Residential Zones Project
The City of Hamilton’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law No. 05-200 came into effect on May 25, 2005, and is being implemented in stages. This Zoning By-law applies to the entire City of Hamilton and is replacing the Zoning By-laws of the former municipalities.
The final phase of this project is focused on residential zones in the urban area. The purpose of this project is to implement the policies of the Urban Hamilton Official Plan to create consistent residential zones across the entire urban area of Hamilton.
Phase One - Low Density Residential Zones
Low density residential areas are the neighbourhoods across the City that are zoned a low density residential zone, permitting low density residential uses like single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, and street townhouses.
Expanding the Permissions in Low Density Residential Zones
On August 12, 2022, the City of Hamilton Council approved By-law Nos. 22-191, 22-192, 22-193, 22-194, 22-195, 22-196, and 22-197 - Amendments to expand the permitted uses in the Low Density Residential Zones of the Former Community Zoning By-laws of the Town of Ancaster, Town of Dundas, Town of Flamborough, Township of Glanbrook, City of Hamilton, and City of Stoney Creek and to create two new Low Density Residential Zones in Zoning By-law No. 05-200.
The changes to the City’s Low Density Residential Zones have the effect of:
- Removing barriers to small-scale intensification in low density residential areas of the City by permitting a wider range of housing options in existing neighbourhoods; and
- Promoting sustainable development by removing barriers to growth in existing neighbourhoods, and affordability by providing more housing choice in these neighbourhoods.
As a result of the changes, these uses are now permitted in Low Density Residential Zones (in addition to existing permissions):
- Duplex Dwellings;
- Semi-Detached Dwellings;
- Street Townhouse Dwellings; and
- The conversion of an existing Single Detached or Duplex Dwelling to contain a greater number of dwelling units within the dwelling, up to a maximum of four dwelling units.
Changes to City of Hamilton Zoning By-law No. 05-200 (By-law No. 22-197)
In addition to the new permitted uses and Converted Dwelling permissions two new Low Density Residential Zones – the Low Density Residential (R1) Zone, and Low Density – Small Lot (R1a) Zone have been introduced to the City’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law No. 05-200.
For further information, review Staff Report PED22154 - Agenda Item 9.6
The new permissions within Low Density Residential Zones do not extend to properties within Secondary Plans. Location of Secondary Plans in Hamilton. Secondary Plans will be evaluated as part of local community updates to the Urban and Rural Hamilton Official Plans which will evaluate matters of local context.
Neighbourhood Infill Design Guidelines and Zoning Regulations
With the recent changes to the Low Density Residential Zones, staff are now embarking on the next steps in implementing the changes to the Urban Hamilton Official Plan resulting from completion of Phase 1 of the Official Plan Review
To encourage small-scale intensification opportunities in low density residential areas, the Urban Hamilton Official Plan now permits fourplexes and multiple dwellings of up to six units for lots in proximity to collector or arterial roads.
The City is developing Infill Design Guidelines for these forms of housing which will inform the development of new zoning regulations. The guidelines will work with the new zoning regulations to direct the integration of denser housing forms in neighbourhoods.
To inform this work, in November 2022, the City consulted with the public through a focus group discussion about what one values in their neighbourhood and important elements to address when developing design guidelines and zoning regulations for small-scale intensification in neighbourhoods.
- Prepare Draft Infill Design Guidelines and Zoning Regulations
- Test the Draft Guidelines and Regulations by working with local architects to test against sample sites across the city.
- Finalize the documents for consultation.