Expanding Citywide Housing Options

The City is reviewing and updating our planning policies and zoning regulations to remove barriers to housing development and enable the delivery of housing options that meet the needs of our growing city. To keep informed of our progress, please sign up at the top right-hand corner of this page.

This work is part of the City’s Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) Action Plan which includes 11 initiatives designed to increase local housing supply.

The five initiatives aimed at expanding citywide housing options include:

  1. Enable high-density housing development within the City Centre.

  1. Enable mid- and high-rise development along urban corridors and main transit routes.

  1. Advance the development of missing middle housing in central neighbourhoods.

  1. Support the provision of greater housing diversity in established neighbourhoods.

  1. Reduce Council approval for housing related Discretionary Use applications.

The City is advancing these initiatives over the next six months in three phases as follows:

Phase 1 (Q1 2024):

  • Permit additional dwelling units per lot in low density residential zones.

  • Increase permitted heights in mid- and high-density zones.

  • Remove parking requirements to support additional housing development.

Phase 2 (anticipated Q2 2024):

  • Confirm main transit routes.

  • Increase permitted heights within 200m of main transit routes.

  • Review and amend Official Community Plan and Area Plans to align with HAF initiatives and Council direction.

Phase 3 (anticipated Q2/Q3 2024):

  • Review development standards to support delivery of additional housing options.

  • Increase permitted heights within 800m of main transit routes.

  • Revise discretionary use process.

The City is reviewing and updating our planning policies and zoning regulations to remove barriers to housing development and enable the delivery of housing options that meet the needs of our growing city. To keep informed of our progress, please sign up at the top right-hand corner of this page.

This work is part of the City’s Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) Action Plan which includes 11 initiatives designed to increase local housing supply.

The five initiatives aimed at expanding citywide housing options include:

  1. Enable high-density housing development within the City Centre.

  1. Enable mid- and high-rise development along urban corridors and main transit routes.

  1. Advance the development of missing middle housing in central neighbourhoods.

  1. Support the provision of greater housing diversity in established neighbourhoods.

  1. Reduce Council approval for housing related Discretionary Use applications.

The City is advancing these initiatives over the next six months in three phases as follows:

Phase 1 (Q1 2024):

  • Permit additional dwelling units per lot in low density residential zones.

  • Increase permitted heights in mid- and high-density zones.

  • Remove parking requirements to support additional housing development.

Phase 2 (anticipated Q2 2024):

  • Confirm main transit routes.

  • Increase permitted heights within 200m of main transit routes.

  • Review and amend Official Community Plan and Area Plans to align with HAF initiatives and Council direction.

Phase 3 (anticipated Q2/Q3 2024):

  • Review development standards to support delivery of additional housing options.

  • Increase permitted heights within 800m of main transit routes.

  • Revise discretionary use process.

Question & Answer

If you have questions about how these changes will affect you and your community, you can ask them here.  

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  • Phase 3 of the HAF states that there will be the request to increase permitted heights within 800 M of main transit routes. From what I have read elsewhere in the City information, it is suggested to be 13 M or 4 stories. Will this 800 M distance be as the bird flies or walking distance to the routes where the person can then wait at a transit bus stop? Will an affected single family home be compensated by the City for eliminating most of the equity in their house when a huge 4 storey building is constructed next door or along their street? Will the homeowners on that street have an opportunity to stop that sort of development through the Discretionary Use Application process or is that also destroyed under the reference to "Revise discretionary use process?

    Rider Prider asked 3 days ago

    The direction of City Council in November 2023 was to permit 4-storey multi-unit development within 800m of main transit as of right. This means that it would be permitted without the need for a discretionary use application process. Work is currently underway to refine what this will look like, however, similar to the delineation of the Primary Intensification Areas (phase 2, part 1), distances to main transit will be measured as walking distances (not as the bird flies). Review of the City's discretionary use process is also still underway to determine if any changes will be recommended.

  • Why does the City have so many changes to our bylaws and regulations for just the promised 1,100 dwelling units promised to the HAF program up to 2026? It seems that with the allowance for developers to have the right to build up to 4 dwelling units on any residential lot, 6 storey buildings within 200 metres of the primary intensification areas along main transit routes plus the next phase 3 allowing 4 storey buildings anywhere within 800 metres of the same routes that looks overly aggressive by the City. What is the City estimating for the number of additional units that will provide over and above normal or average building units? Why does this require the destruction of single family homes and a free for all along narrow residential streets for parking?

    Rider Prider asked 3 days ago
    The Federal Housing Accelerator Fund program is intended to drive transformational change and create the conditions for additional housing supply to be built in both the near and long term. It aims to support lasting changes that will improve housing supply for years to come. While Regina's Action Plan included a housing supply growth target that would see an additional 1,100 housing units permitted above our average annual rate of housing growth in the first three years, the City's Action Plan aims to support an additional 3,000 housing unit permits within the first 10 years.

    The initiatives related to planning policies and zoning regulations create flexibility that will support the development of housing that will meet the needs of current and future residents. This includes ensuring that more diverse housing options are available in established neighbourhoods.

    Providing flexibility in parking requirements is a best practice to support the delivery of additional housing options. We anticipate any change in parking provision associated with the recently approved changes to be gradual. The City is committed to monitoring development applications to see what, if any, the impact of shifting parking requirements to recommendations will be.
  • What size residential lot size (width and length) would be required to be allowed to build a 4 plex on it? I know that there are setback and height regulations. What are those limits too? Would I have to remove 2 houses on 2 separate lots to do this?

    Rider Prider asked 4 days ago
    Development standards for properties in low-density residential areas vary greatly across the city depending on the zone a property is within (R1, RU, RN), if a property is on a laneway, and if a property is within the Residential Infill Development Overlay. The height and setback requirements for low-density zones also vary depending on the building type that is proposed (detached, row, stacked). 

    At this time, any new development in a low-density zone is required to fit within the permitted building envelope for the zone and type of building that is proposed. In some areas this may make it challenging to accommodate four units on a single lot. It is best to consult with staff in Planning and Development Services to understand site-specific requirements for your project. City staff will be reviewing development standards as a future piece of work to support additional housing development.
  • Regarding the Housing Accelerator Fund - Expanding Citywide Housing Options Phase 2, Part 1, will the new zoning regulations and planning policies required by the HAF Action Plan have any impact on details of the Special Policy Area (Lakeshore Mall Site) in the existing Hillsdale Neighbourhood Land-Use Plan? Currently, the Special Policy Area provides a 20m height overlay for the site. In the past, a developer has requested and been given discretionary zoning by the City for 35m high-rise towers (9 stories) on the site. Our concern is that the HAF Action Plan could be a “Trojan Horse” for building more high-rise towers in the Wascana Centre Height Overlay Zone.

    Richard Ast asked 8 days ago

    The amendments being proposed in Phase 2, Part 1, include repealing the Wascana Centre Height Overlay and introducing Primary Intensification Areas along main transit routes where multi-unit development would be permitted up to 20m in height. The Lakeshore Mall Site is within the Primary Intensification Area and within the current Overlay. If City Council approves the recommendations in this phase of work, this site would permit multi-unit development up to 20m. If a proposal was submitted for something over 20m it would need to go through a Contract Zone process which includes additional review and public circulation. At this time, work is underway to review all Neighbourhood Plans to ensure alignment with the City's HAF Action Plan and the direction of Council, however at this time, those plans remain in place.

  • What is the actual height of the proposed development at 535 Douglas Ave? Is it 18 meters measured from ground level? Or is it 18 meters measured from where? Also why is the address 535 Douglas Ave when it borders 20th Ave E? Is it because if this development gets approved, the long term plan is to fill the whole school yard? As this proposed building is not within 200 meters of a major bus route, why is it even being proposed? What's the city's plan for that?

    Finn asked 16 days ago
    The Expanding Citywide Housing Options project focuses on changes to planning policies and regulations citywide to support additional housing development. It is separate and apart from the review of site-specific development applications, including the rezoning and discretionary use application for 535 Douglas Avenue. 

    Regardless of existing zoning or proposed amendments brought forward through the Expanding Citywide Housing Options project, individuals can apply for a rezoning or development application on any parcel of land in the city. At that time, the City reviews the application and provides a decision or recommendation to City Council. The discretionary use and rezoning application at 535 Douglas Avenue is being reviewed through this standard process.

    For further information or about the 535 Douglas Avenue rezoning and development application, please visit Regina.ca/proposeddevelopment
  • If "Missing Middle Housing" is lacking, then why haven't the Developers built more? Is this meeting the needs of the home-buyers or renters? What surveys have been conducted to determine what people need now and in the future? This "project" seems to dictate a lot of unnecessary long-lasting amendments to the Zoning Bylaw and Official Community Plan that took many years to formulate.

    Rider Prider asked about 2 months ago
    Missing middle housing refers to smaller scale multi-family housing types such as garden suites, secondary suites, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, row houses, courtyard housing, and low-rise apartments (4 storeys or less). Over time, these housing options have been developed in neighbourhoods throughout the city including most recently in new development areas such as Harbour Landing and the Greens on Gardiner.

    Since at least the early 1990s, the City’s zoning regulations limited developing these housing options, particularly in established neighbourhoods.

    With the escalating housing crisis, it is important to enable more attainable and affordable housing options that meet the needs of new Canadians, young families wanting to live near existing schools and community centres, commuters preferring locations near public transit and seniors seeking options that let them age in their communities. 

    The City is pivoting its approach to be more supportive of these options, and making changes to the Zoning Bylaw that provide flexibility to build more housing types that can adapt over time. These changes enable more development types, but do not prohibit the development of single family homes in low-density residential neighbourhoods.

    These changes support the City’s goal to accommodate population growth within established neighbourhoods and aligns with our Official Community Plan objectives  to maximize our existing infrastructure investments and position our neighbourhoods to be resilient to change.
  • With the removal of off street parking while approving up to 4 units on a standard lot, how does the city intend to deal with the over crowded streets we currently see in neighbourhoods like Harbour Landing? During winter months the streets are impassable due to lack of snow removal and overpopulation in the area. I'll more than likely get the standard "more people will be taking public transportation" reply but this will not be the case, many people will still own cars and those cars need to be parked somewhere. The city of Edmonton is already proving that their new electric buses were a mistake in this cold climate.

    Hobo asked about 2 months ago
    The approach the City has taken - moving parking minimums from required to recommended – allows flexibility for developers to assess the appropriate amount of parking needed for their development based on the type of project, location, and tenants. This approach limits inefficiencies in new development, which, contributes to higher costs of living for tenants.
     
    Staff are monitoring development applications as they come in to see what, if any, impact this change will have. In recent years, the experience we have seen locally is that many projects propose more parking than the minimum. We anticipate any change to this trend will be gradual over time, similar to the experience in other cities that have removed parking requirements, where most developments still provide parking on par with what had been previously required.
  • What public consultation has taken place to determine what the wishes are of homeowners in Regina? From what I have read, the developers can buy up parcels of land in R1 zones and construct large 4 plexus that ruin the character of the areas. This is a an extreme move for Federal funding that will have long term negative consequences for housing development in Regina.

    Rider Prider asked about 2 months ago

    We know there are a range of diverse community views with respect to development, and housing in particular. In June 2023 Council endorsed the City’s Housing Accelerator Fund Action Plan which was developed to support additional housing development in alignment with the Official Community Plan, including the community priorities and growth plan.

    In November 2023, City Council directed staff to bring forward specific citywide zoning bylaw amendments that would allow more housing to be developed as of right (i.e., additional units per lot, increased heights near transit, etc.).

    With respect to changes in R1 zones that were approved by Council in January 2024, while additional units may be permitted on the lot, all projects must fit within the current development standards that would be permitted for a single-family home (i.e., heights, setbacks).

  • Hi there, I'm wondering if, in conjunction to increasing residential density near "main transit routes" the city will also be increasing funding for more accessible transit? Regina city transit is incredibly limited and this is an important piece of the overall makeup of the city and making life more affordable and liveable for those facing housing insecurity and financial precarity.

    Amber PB asked 2 months ago
    The Regina Transit Master Plan recommends that service hours be increased to support growth in the city and to provide improved service. This can take the form of increasing operating hours and frequencies for existing routes, as well as route adjustments. The Regina Transit Master Plan also recommends future service increases for paratransit. Any future increase to service hours are subject to budgetary approval by City Council.
Page last updated: 16 Apr 2024, 01:08 PM