The Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Retaining Walls) 2033, 2020 regulates retaining walls separate from landscape features and aims to improve design solutions in setback areas.
This amendment streamlines the permitting process by reducing the need to submit variance applications, while continuing to uphold Whistler’s resort community character. Recognizing Whistler’s unique topography, this amendment changes the allowable height and location of retaining walls and landscape features in setback areas to allow for a more practical application of these features.
Highlights of the zoning amendments include:
- Increase the maximum allowable height of all landscape features (including planters, stairs, walkways, decks and decorative walls, but not including retaining walls) in setback areas from 0.6 metres to 1 metre.
- Maintain the allowable setback from any side parcel line at 1 metre and from any front or rear parcel line at 2 metres.
Differentiate retaining walls from other landscape features by allowing them to be in setback areas under the following conditions:
- Increase the maximum allowable height of retaining walls from 0.6 metres to 1.22 metres.
- Decrease the allowable setback from any parcel line that does not abut a highway (any public or private strata road) from 1-2 metres to 0 metres.
- Maintain the allowable setback from any parcel line that abuts a highway (any public or private strata road) at 2 metres.
- Where there are two or more retaining walls within the same setback area, require each retaining wall to be separated from any other retaining wall by a horizontal distance of 1.22 metres; and limit the maximum slope of finished ground between retaining walls to not more than 1:4 (1 rise:4 run).
New retaining wall and landscape feature regulations are contained in Part 5.7 of the General regulations of Zoning and Parking Bylaw 303, 2015