Growth & Community Development Services

About the PDA


The Primary Development Area, or PDA, describes the urban growth boundary identified in PlanSJ.  It is the portion of the City with existing municipal sewer and water service. More than that, it is the area in which the greatest range and mix of compatible land uses are permitted. 

The new zones offer more flexibility for land owners to achieve what is permitted, which will support and stimulate investment.  The zones aim to build on its strengths and reverse the past patterns of sprawling development.  This allows the City to capitalize on the community benefits that accrue from more compact patterns of urban growth.

It accomplished this by:

  • Limiting urban and rural sprawl by directing the majority of growth within the Primary Development Area, to maximize the municipal investments already made in infrastructure.
  • Creating a hierarchy of development with the highest intensity of uses in the Primary Centres and the lowest intensity in the Stable Areas and Rural Areas;
  • Directing the majority of new employment uses to Primary Centres and Employment Areas to promote economic prosperity;
  • Directing the majority of new housing to Primary, Local and Mixed Use Centres and Neighbourhood Intensification Areas;
  • Creating an integrated mix of land uses in Centres and appropriate parts of Neighbourhood Intensification Areas;
  • Recognizing the important role of urban design in creating high quality, attractive and functional development in the public and private realms;
  • Using Corridors to connect Employment Areas, Centres, Neighbourhood Intensification Areas, and Stable Areas; and
  • Protecting the rural landscape and natural areas by identifying areas outside the Primary Development Area as Rural Stable, Rural Settlement, Rural Resource, Rural Industrial and Park and Natural Areas.

Read more in the Guide to ZoneSJ