On March 4, 2020 city staff appeared before mayor and council to present an initial report regarding an update to Merritt’s Zoning Bylaw.

“The current Zoning Bylaw was adopted in 2015,” reads a statement from the City of Merritt website.

“Many of the regulations are no longer conducive to creating the vibrant, growing community that Merrittonians would like the community to become. Many residents and developers have indicated that the bylaw could use a refresh. Hearing those requests, City of Merritt staff were tasked with reviewing the existing bylaw for potential revisions.”

Revisions were so extensive that staff decided to completely overhaul the document, providing a new Zoning Bylaw that would be more streamlined, efficient and easy to understand.

Workshops were held in March of this year to receive and review public input into the development of the new bylaw. The proposed bylaw was then presented to council on June 30, 2020.

“By updating this Zoning Bylaw in-house, not only have we been able to save money for our residents, but we have updated policies to welcome new businesses into our community,” said City of Merritt Mayor, Linda Brown.

“As we update the City of Merritt Zoning Bylaw, this will help eliminate some of the business restrictions and red tape which Council has heard from our local business owners. I have heard from some residents the uncertainty around Merritt growing too fast, too soon. I want to share that myself, and fellow Council members, are advocating for the growth of Merritt in a managed capacity,” Mayor Brown added.

“This will ensure Merritt is, and always will be, a great place to live for both our new residents and our current community members. I encourage you to visit the City’s website to read the draft Zoning Bylaw. Always feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.”

Further community engagement will take place at an Open House held at the Civic Centre on Tuesday, July 28 from 5:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. Residents who plan to attend are asked to RSVP to [email protected] by noon on Tuesday, July 28.

Residents who are unable to attend in person are asked to email their questions to Planning Staff at [email protected]

A public hearing will also be held in August before the proposed Zoning Bylaw is adopted.