Updated October 10, 2023

Every property in Sooke is classified with a “zone”, which determines the types of activities permitted on the property, the location and size of buildings that can be constructed, and the size of lots that can be created.

  • The Zoning Bylaw sets out the zoning on properties located within the District of Sooke boundaries.
  • The Zoning Map is available as a layer in our interactive web map. It is recommended that you confirm the zone of your property with the Planning department before you make any decisions as to building, development, permitted uses, etc.

DISCLAIMER: These are unofficial documents of the District of Sooke and are consolidated from a variety of sources for convenience purposes only and are not to be relied upon in making financial or other commitments. The District of Sooke does not warrant the accuracy of information on these documents nor will it accept responsibility for errors or omissions. The District of Sooke reserves the right to alter or update this information without notice.

Please contact Planning Services before making decisions based on these documents. They can be reached at planning@sooke.ca or 250.642.1634.

What is rezoning?

Rezoning is the public process required to change land use or increase density on a property beyond what is permitted by the Zoning Bylaw—usually by changing the zone of the property. Rezoning must go through a public process, which gathers public input to assist Council in their decision-making to modify a zone as requested by an applicant. The applicant will work with staff through the administration of a rezoning application to ensure it is in alignment with community plans.

Do I need to apply for rezoning or a variance?

While such conditions such as building setbacks or height can be varied through a Development Variance Permit, changing the permitted uses or density in a particular zone requires a change to the Zoning Bylaw through a rezoning application.

If you would like to use your property for an activity not currently permitted under your zoning, you can apply to rezone to a zone under which that use is allowed. You can also apply for rezoning in order to increase the number of residential units permitted for development on the property.

What is involved in a Rezoning Application?

A typical guide on how a rezoning application is handled, includes:

  1. Staff receive an application and a file is opened, as displayed on the development tracker.
  2. Application is referred internally to GIS (Geographic Information System). GIS will pull related information on the property, such as understanding if there are any covenants on the property.
  3. Application review: A Planner will conduct an initial review of the file, including seeing how it aligns with current planning documents (and the community vision) and outline potential conditions to support the community’s interests as identified in approved plans, i.e. Transportation Master Plan, Parks and Trails Master Plan.
  4. Internal referrals: Subject matter experts take a closer look at the file including operational requirements to ensure alignment with current standards and potential impacts, i.e. depending on the property a traffic impact study may be required and/or an environmental assessment and/or a soil study, etc.
  5. Initial Report to Council: Staff will prepare a report with related information to introduce the planning file to Council as the decision-making body for Sooke.
  6. First reading: A file is tabled or induced in the public record for Council’s consideration.
  7. Second reading: Council’s initial discussion on the file at a public meeting.
  8. Public hearing: the formal public consultation process on the file.
    1. Before a public hearing takes place, applications within (at least) 100 metres of the subject property will receive a notice by mail. This requirement recognizes that, generally, neighbours in the vicinity of development are more impacted than other members of the community and allows for neighbourhood-specific engagement.
    2. Additionally, the rezoning application will be advertised in the local newspaper for two consecutive weeks and the public hearing package will be posted at sooke.ca/publichearings. This requirement helps to notify the community of the activities, which also impact them.
  9. Third reading: final Council discussion, including any changes made along the way.
  10. Conditions for approval: Staff will work with the applicant to ensure that any conditions determined through to this point are addressed appropriately.
  11. Fourth reading: Adoption.
  12. GIS Updates to Zoning map.