FEATURED ZONE: Zoning… and Gas Stations?

Zoning can tell a lot about a municipality’s priorities. Today’s feature examines how these priorities can dictate where gas stations can be (or disappear).

Some zones like SSC in Port Coquitlam and C4 in Delta have specific areas for auto shops and gas stations. Other municipalities like Vancouver, do not. This reinforces the differences between the suburbs and the city, which makes it very hard to rezone gas stations in many areas given their explicit nature. It also can partially explain why many gas stations in the suburbs have tended to stay in place, even with densification happening around Metro Vancouver’s outer municipalities.

Cambie & 16th Temporary Community Garden. Source: Community Garden Builders

In Vancouver, gas stations are theoretically allowed in all commercial zones as a use and the city historically had a designated parking zone. The implications of this are important because it means that former lots where gas stations were in the city do not need to undergo a rezoning process if the new development would otherwise fit the zoning requirements of the area. For glaring environmental reasons and work required to remediate, it would take a long time to redevelop a gas station. Even after remediation of land, commonly through temporary community gardens, developers may choose to change the lot into a Comprehensive Development given the complexities of Vancouver’s zoning.

If you are interested in land remediation, click here to look at provincial policies related to it.

To read the SSC zone and C4 zone bylaws: https://www.portcoquitlam.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/3630-Zoning-Bylaw-2008.pdf (page 24)

https://delta.civicweb.net/document/173163/E01%20-%20Zoning%20Bylaw%20Update%20-%20Attachment%20A%20.pdf (page 14-13)

And as always check out our latest map!

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