Commercial Zoning in East Hants

March 23, 2023

Expand or locate your business in East Hants with zoning and opportunities for a wide range of commercial uses.

Why Zoning Exists

Zoning is about appropriate development in appropriate places to protect and enhance features and activities that are important to the existing community. A property’s zoning determines what types of uses are permitted and also regulates how a property may be developed. This ensures complementary uses throughout the community today and in the future. Zoning can also be a tool used to help protect the environment and lands of special significance.

Types of Commercial Zones

East Hants has multiple zones for businesses. Each commercial zone governs land use as well as building type, size, and location. Learn more about these zones in the East Hants Official Community Plan.

Home-based businesses may be permitted in the Mixed Use Zones, Rural Zones and Residential Neighbourhood Zones subject to requirements such as type/use of business and building size.

The Mixed Use Centre Zone is intended to foster growth and to create walkable medium-scaled communities with a mix of commercial and residential development. Design standards are intended to create an environment servicing both pedestrian and vehicle needs within an aesthetically pleasing, socially interactive streetscape serving both local and community-wide populations.

The Village Core Zone was created to protect the future viability and identity of the existing village commercial centres. Village Cores Zones are intended for the development of small-scale commercial development and the zone allows for a diverse mixture of retail, service, business, and residential uses. Design standards are in use in the Village Core Zone to ensure buildings relate to the street and help to create a socially interactive streetscape.

The General Commercial Zone is intended to provide areas within the community that are primarily retail and service businesses in character and are a complimentary fit in primarily residential areas.

The Highway Commercial Zone is intended to provide for commercial uses which make extensive use of land, especially automobile-related uses that serve the traveling public. Buildings can be detached or joined and typically are medium to large footprints ranging from one to three stories. Buffering from sensitive uses is a requirement.

The Regional Commercial Zone is intended to provide for commercial uses, which are regional in scale, such as shopping malls. The requirements under this zoning seek to encourage common access and parking and help preserve land for these uses. Buildings in this zoning can reach 4.5 stories and have the potential for shopping centres. Buffering from sensitive uses is also required and residential developments are limited.

The Business Park Zone is intended to allow for a wide range of office, retail, and light industrial uses within a pre-designated area. This encourages a concentrated commercial growth pattern and alleviates land use incompatibility. Buildings typically have a small to medium footprint with no maximum building height restriction. This zone allows for broad commercial use with a large buffer requirement.

The Industrial Commercial Zone allows for a wide range of industrial uses, which by their nature may generate noise, fume, and odours that may be noxious or hazardous.

Zoning Look Up

Zoning can be viewed with the Interactive East Hants Zoning Look-Up Tool or confirmed in writing by contacting the Planning & Development Department at 902-883-3387 or

Interactive East Hants is an Online Mapping and Data site, which provides the public with an efficient and useful way to explore the Municipality. This website provides free access to East Hants GIS data as a commitment to improving citizen engagement and enhancing transparency for our residents and businesses.