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Zoning FAQ

Several areas in our region, including all municipalities, have regulations that control use of land through application of what planners call "zones." This places potential land use into general categories, to define - for example - where businesses can operate. If you're thinking of building, check here first to find out what you can - and can't - do.

Q: What’s a zone?

A: In municipalities and some non-incorporated areas, there are regulations that govern what kind of things can be done on various parcels of land. This means property might be restricted to residential use only, or be defined for commercial or industrial uses. Zones, and specifically, zoning regulations, help municipal governments and the province define what goes where, to help guide the “look and feel” of a community.  These regulations also limit setbacks, building height and in some cases, building size.

Q: What’s a setback?

A: That’s the distance between an existing or proposed structure and adjacent property lines. (See map).

Q: What are the setbacks for my area?

A: Our planning office covers four municipalities, each with their own regulations, as well as several rural regions that have basic planning statements.  Setbacks vary for the intended use, whether one is looking at municipal areas or rural areas. It's best to call us with specifics and let us provide you the information you need.

Q: I just found out my planned construction needs a “variance.” What’s that?

A: A variance is an exemption from one or more zoning regulation requirements. It's usually granted by a planning advisory group - ours is called the Planning Review Adjustment Committee (PRAC). That body will look at the plans, evaluate staff recommendations, and consider approval. In most cases, development officers will have worked with the applicant to maximize the chances of approval. Variances can be, among other things

  • For a relaxation of a setback (to allow construction closer to the property line than zoning regulations allow)
  • For a land use otherwise not allowed by zoning regulations.
  • For a larger or smaller home than outlined in zoning regulations

Saint Andrews planning process

Currently, the Commission is assisting the Town of Saint Andrews with revising its community plan. For more, see

Municipal plans/zoning bylaws:

St. George Zoning By-Law
Saint Andrews Zoning By-Law

Rural plans/zoning bylaws:

St. David Plan, and St. David Zoning map
Pennfield plan and Pennfield Zoning Map
Bayside Plan and Bayside Zoning Map
Chamcook Plan and Chamcook Zoning Map
Lepreau & Musquash Plan and Lepreau & Musquash Zoning map
St Croix Planning Statement
St. Croix corridor zoning regulation