Last Updated on March 28, 2024

What is RF3 Zoning? | Real Estate Definition

By Alan F Macdonald

What is RF3 Zoning? | Real Estate Definition

What Does RF3 Zoning Mean?

In Edmonton, RF3 zoning is a residential zoning that permits the building of houses and duplexes (and sometimes triplexes and fourplexes) on a lot. RF3 zoning is also known as Low Density Development Zoning.

The minimum lot size for RF3 zoned lots is 360m² (3875ft²) for houses, 300m² for semi-detached homes, 150m² row houses that are between other rows houses and 200m² for row houses that are end units.

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    The minimum lot size for an apartment building to be built on an RF3 zone is 800m² (8611ft²).

    Real Estate Agent Explains RF3 Zoning

    RF3 zoning allows all sorts of discretionary uses, too: duplexes, group homes, minor home businesses, extra suites in houses, houses, signage on the outside of the building and also apartment and stacked houses (no more than four units, though). Even boarding houses and child care services are allowed. Garage and garden suites are also allowed as are major home based businesses, religious assemblies, sales centres (usually for selling condos nearby), row houses and free standing signage.

    RF3 zoning is a lot like RF2 zoning, but a little more lax on the things you can build. Duplexes are much easier to build here than in RF2 zoned areas. Also, fraternity and sorority houses are allowed under RF3 zoning (provided the houses are in the Garneau area).

    At the time of writing, there are over 300 properties listed with RF3 zoning in Edmonton. See the City of Edmonton Zoning Bylaw page on RF3 zoning to learn more.

    Duplex-on-RF3-Zoned-Lot-in-King-Edward-Park,-Edmonton
    Here is an example of a duplex on an RF3 zoned lot.

    Why Does It Matter?

    As with all kinds of zoning, there are many rules that need to be followed. Be sure to know what you’re getting into when you buy property, and what can be built on the land and near it. RF3 zoning is perfect for some uses, impossible for others and just OK, for still more kinds of uses. If you’re planning to rezone an area, make sure the zoning will fit your needs now and in the future.

    (Zoning is not a searchable field on the public MLS® system. If you’re looking for RF3 zoned properties, please give me a call or contact me online, and I can provide you with a list of all the Edmonton real estate zoned RF3 available today. Although RF3 Zoned lots are not easy to find, there may be a lot value property that would be suitable for infill development)

    21 thoughts on “What is RF3 Zoning? | Real Estate Definition

      1. Hi Jim,

        Yes, there are many 4-plexes out there with RF3 zoning in Edmonton. Please let me know if you have any more questions about zoning or 4-plexes.

    1. Hi Alan,

      Can you direct me to a guide for RF1-> RF3 rezoning? There seems to be a lot of info scattered all around, but nothing of a defnitive guide.

      I am in the planning stages of purchasing a property and converting to a duplex/4-plex (isn’t everyone hey)… and want to build a set of criteria for lots that work for the proposed reconstruction.

    2. Hi Alan,

      I am considering purchasing a house zoned RF3, it’s stated to have 3 bedrooms on the main floor, and 4 bedrooms upstairs in a sell contained suite. What are my options for renting this out?

      Thanks!

      1. Hi Alex,

        I am not sure what you mean by your ‘options’. Could you be more specific? You could rent out the suite (if it is legal) and the other floor separately, or you could rent it out as one complete house, top and bottom combined. I can’t think of any other options…

        Alan

    3. Hey I’m wondering what the zoning is in the minchau area. Somewhere around 3729 34a ave. I’m hoping for it to be RF3. My uncle is selling his place and I feel it would make a great triplex

      1. Hi Leonidas,

        Currently, zoning for that address is RF1. Zoning can be checked any time at maps.edmonton.ca.

    4. Alan,
      Very good info about zoning,
      We are custom home builder, Planning to buy the property to convert in duplex or 4 plex.

      Do you have any property in RF3 zones in North West Edmonton?

      1. Hi Kaush,

        I can sell any properties for sale. Please contact me if you are interested in receiving listings to your email. Thank you!

        1. Alan,

          FYI, you and your perspective clients should be aware that the City’s definition of a Duplex requires that it be declared at the time of Development approval. Therefore, conversion of a Single Detached House to a Duplex is not permitted. In regards to conversion of any existing structure to a 4-plex, or Apartment Housing as the zoning bylaw defines this form of development, the cost to retrofit the existing structure to obtain the Building Permit is prohibitively expensive. Visit the City’s planning office as I did. They were quite up front and provided me with some great knowledge that guided me in my recent purchase of an investment property.

          1. Thanks Bean Stock Jack,

            Visiting the Planning and Development office is an absolute must when converting any structure or planning any changes that are related to zoning. And always get your permits!

    5. When you receive your property tax assessment , say mine is $462,000, does that mean what I can sell it for or just the Assessment.

    6. This is great information! If I buy a duplex that’s zoned for RF-3, could I ever sell one half of the duplex or would it a sale entail both halves?

      1. Hi Mel,

        Yes, you can build a duplex and sell just one side. There are lots of duplexes where only one side is for sale. Each side is a separate dwelling. You can also sell them together, but you would be limiting your buyer pool. More people can afford to buy a single home, not as many can afford to buy two homes.

      1. Hi Steve,

        You can check zoning of any property on the City of Edmonton Maps website. RF zoning comes in many varieties. It just means residential zoning. Beacon Heights and Bergman are almost all residential zoning. Specifically, they are almost entirely RF1 zoning.

    7. Hi Alan,

      Im looking at purchasing a corner lot that is zoned rf3 and is 3800sqft. Would I be able to put a triplex on this?

      Thanks,

      Peter Nguyen

      1. Hi Peter, Multi-unit housing is permitted on RF3 zoned lots in Edmonton. 3800 ft2 is not huge, though so I am not sure a triplex would fit on a lot that size. It would be best to check with the City of Edmonton planning department to be sure. They will ask you about the specific lot, because there are many factors that determine permitted uses, not just the zoning code and area of the lot.

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