Study to Recommend Appropriate Zoning Regulations for Rooftop Terraces and Balconies

Project Update (January 2018)

Based on the feedback received at the September 2017 Statutory Public Meeting, the elements of the study, rooftop terraces and balconies, will be dealt with separately and brought back to Planning and Development Council upon the completion of additional review and consultation.

Upcoming meetings

Rooftop Terraces Regulations - Town Wide

  • Recommendation Meeting scheduled during Planning and Development Council meeting, Monday, February 12, 2018.

Balconies (Residential RL-O suffix zones  )

  • Resident associations and public consultation meeting(s) to be held in mid 2018.

Past Meetings

For more information:

Please provide comments and sign up for our project mailing list by emailing jana.kelemen@oakville.ca. Visit this page for updates and upcoming meetings.

Background

Rooftop Terraces

On April 11, 2016 the Ontario Municipal Board approved amendments to Zoning By-law 2014-014, which introduced regulations for rooftop terraces as follows:

4.6.6 Rooftop Terraces (PL140317)

The following provisions shall apply to rooftop terraces:

  • A rooftop terrace is only permitted on a lot in a Residential Medium (RM), Residential High (RH), Mixed Use (MU), Neighbourhood Commercial (C1), Community Commercial (C2), Core Commercial (C3), or Office Employment (E1) Zone;
  • A rooftop terrace is not permitted on the roof of the first storey of any building;
  • The minimum setback for a rooftop terrace from the edge of a roof shall be 2.0 metres;
  • No structures, excluding a mechanical penthouse, associated with a rooftop terrace are permitted on a lot in a RM1, RM2 or RM3 Zone;
  • No structure on a rooftop terrace shall have walls;
  • No structures on a rooftop terrace shall exceed 20% of the total area of the rooftop terrace and such structures shall not be deemed a storey;
  • No access from grade shall be permitted to a rooftop terrace; and
  • The outer boundary of a rooftop terrace shall be defined using a barrier having a minimum height of 1.2 metres.

Through the processing of development applications, staff experienced situations where the zoning regulations prohibit or significantly restrict terraces in locations which may be desirable. Therefore, applying the current regulations may result in unintended conditions. Rooftop terraces can provide opportunities for outdoor amenity spaces in urban areas. When designed well, they can contribute to an increase of tree canopy coverage and reducing the storm water run-off.

Balconies

The Town’s Zoning By-law 2014-014, passed by Council on February 25, 2014 includes prohibition of balconies and uncovered platforms in Residential -0 zones:

 6.4.5 Balcony and Deck Prohibition. Balconies and uncovered platforms are prohibited above the floor level of the first storey on any lot in the -0 Suffix Zone.

Through the processing of development applications, staff experienced several situations in which the above mentioned regulations are problematic. The prohibition of balconies on such a broad scale does not consider instances in which balconies would not create a negative impact on privacy of the surrounding properties, such as large lots abutting the lake, ravines, woodlots or parks, etc.

Since the passing of Zoning By-law 2014-014 in February 2014, numerous applications for a minor variance to permit a balcony in –0 zone have been received. Due to the prohibition on balconies, these requests for minor variances have not being supported by staff and have been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Project contact

Jana Kelemen
Urban DesignerPlanning Services
905-845-6601 ext. 3026
jana.kelemen@oakville.ca