Property Development

Developing and improving your property may involve the Planning Department. But when? Here are a few examples:

  • You would like to create two lots from your single lot.
  • You would like to renovate your home but the addition is too close to your property line.
  • You would like to construct a multi-family development and your property is located in a development permit area.

 A Pre-Application Meeting is a useful tool in your planning process and our staff will gladly assist you to ensure your application is complete. Please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email with questions or to set up a Pre-Application Meeting.

Property development applications include the following:

Agricultural Land Reserve

If your property is located within the Agriculture Land Reserve and you wish to do any of the following, you must make an application to the Agriculture Land Commission. 

  • Exclude land from the ALR, 
  • Include land in the ALR,
  • Subdivide land in the ALR, or
  • Use land in the ALR for non-farm purposes.

Your completed application is submitted to the Planning Department for review and consideration by our Agriculture Committee and Council. If Council supports the application, the City will forward your application to the Agricultural Land Commission for their review.

Please visit the Agriculture Land Commission website for more information and for a copy of the application.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.

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Board of Variance

The Board of Variance consists of five persons appointed by Council for a term of three years. The Board functions separately from City Council and reviews minor development variance permit applications that do not impact a policy or change the intent of a bylaw that has been adopted by Council.

Applications [PDF - 63 KB] to the Board of Variance include: 

  • Variances respecting zoning bylaw requirements for the siting, dimensions, or size of buildings, 
  • Tree protection bylaws,
  • Permitting structural alterations where a non-conforming use is present, and 
  • Subdivision servicing requirements for agricultural and industrial lands.

When do you apply to the Board of Variance?

You can apply to the Board of Variance if you feel that general regulations or bylaws, when applied to your property, impose an undue hardship. The Board will make a decision as to whether or not there is undue hardship.

Please feel free to review The BOV Guide [PDF - 1.8 MB] for more helpful information.You can also download the application [PDF - 63 KB] online.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.

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Carriage Houses

A Carriage House is a home in a stand-alone building (for example above a garage), on a residential property that contains a house. The building may be new construction or a conversion of, or addition to, an existing garage or accessory building.

The Carriage House Bulletin [PDF - 115 KB], provides information on the following:

  • Business licence requirements,
  • Where carriage houses are permitted,
  • Applicable zoning regulations,
  • Building permit approval,
  • Agriculture Land Reserve properties, and
  • Bylaw enforcement.

For further information, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.

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Development Permits

If your property is located in a Development Permit Area (DPA) land must not be subdivided or altered and buildings or structures cannot be constructed or altered, unless you first obtain a Development Permit.

Your development permit application [PDF - 499 KB] is checked against the guidelines of the Development Permit Area for your property as outlined in the Official Community Plan (OCP) and for compliance with other City regulations including our Zoning Bylaw.

How do I know if my property is in a Development Permit Area?

You can look up your property on our online mapping system available on our website or simply contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.

When is a Development Permit required?

  • Most new developments including industrial, commercial, institutional, multi-family (two or more dwelling units), and some duplexes;
  • A new development when the property is located within a Development Permit Area designated in the Official Community Plan;
  • Development within environmentally-sensitive and riparian (river bank) areas;
  • Changes to an existing Development Permit, with the exception of specified exterior modifications in permitted areas.

Once issued, the Development Permit (and any future amendments to that Development Permit) is registered against the title of your property. The City ensures development of your property is carried out with the terms of the Permit.  In order to ensure the completion of any required on-site landscaping and on-site works, the City may require a security deposit.

Who approves a Development Permit?

Depending on the development staff or Council can issue Development Permits.

If an application involves a commercial or industrial development with a floor area of over 4,500 square metres and the development is within 800 metres of a controlled access highway, the permit must be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email. You can also download the Development Permit application [PDF - 499 KB] online.

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Development Variance Permits

Variance Permits are used to vary provisions of City bylaws, including the Zoning Bylaw, Subdivision & Development Bylaw, existing Land Use contracts and other bylaws.

What can be varied?

Design, servicing and siting requirements such as a building's setback from the property line, height of a building or where a building can be located on a lot are a few examples.

Once issued, Variance Permits are registered on the title of your property.

Who approves a development variance permit?

Variance Permits are granted by a resolution of City Council. If Council is considering issuing a Variance Permit, a notice is sent to adjacent property owners and/or tenants informing them of the proposal and inviting them to comment.

If an application involves a commercial or industrial development with a floor area of over 4,500 square metres and the development is within 800 metres of a controlled access highway, the permit must be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email. You can also download the Development Variance Permit application [PDF - 506 KB] online.

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Live-Work Units

A live-work unit combines a permitted commercial use and living space.  Live-Work units are permitted in specific commercial zones and there are a number of zoning regulations and building code requirements.

For more information, please review our Live-Work Units Handout [PDF - 281 KB] or contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email .

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Official Community Plan

The Official Community Plan (OCP) outlines strategies for directing growth and development in the City. Developed through extensive community consultation, the OCP is the community's collective vision for the City. It outlines Council's policy direction for land use, servicing and the form and character of development within specific areas of the City.

In order to change any of the policies outlined in the OCP, in other words to change the vision approved by Council, an OCP Amendment is required. You can download the OCP Amendment application [PDF - 538 KB] online.

A formal public hearing is part of the process to amend the Official Community Plan.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.

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Secondary Suites

Secondary suites are gaining in popularity as they offer affordable housing and can help home owners offset their mortgage payments.

Secondary suites are located within a home and:

  • Are self-contained, 
  • Have at least one liveable room used as a residence by one or more people, 
  • Offers self-contained sleeping, living, cooking and washroom facilities, and 
  • Has direct access to the outside without passing through any part of the principal residence.

The Secondary Suite Bulletin [PDF - 114 KB] , provides information on the following:

  •  Business licence requirements,
  • Where secondary suites are permitted,
  • Applicable zoning regulations,
  • Building permit approval and costs,
  • Legalizing a pre-existing suite, and
  • Bylaw enforcement.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.

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Sign Permits

Signs are a great tool to help locate and identify your business. Fascia, projecting, freestanding, canopy, banner and hanging signs are a few examples of the different type of signs that require a permit in the City.

The Planning Department reviews sign applications and plans to ensure compliance with our Sign Bylaw.  You can download the Sign Permit application from our Applications & Forms page.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.

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Strata Subdivision

There are four types of Strata applications:

New Strata

New building never occupied.

No City approval required.

BC Land Surveyor prepares a final Strata Subdivision Plan.

Plan approved by the Superintendent of Real Estate.

Strata Conversion

Building is presently or was previously occupied.

Conversion must be approved by City Council.

Phased Strata

New buildings not occupied.

To be built and sold in phases.

Strata must be approved by the Approving Officer.

Bare Land Strata

Strata subdivsion of land.

Must be approved by the Approving Officer.

There can be numerous technical and legal details involved in the strata subdivision process and we recommend that you contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email  to set up a Pre-Application Meeting. You may also wish to consult a registered B.C. Land Surveyor (BCLS) and lawyer or notary public.

Regulations governing strata subdivisions are contained in the Strata Property Act and the Bare Land Strata Regulations.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.  You can download the Strata application [PDF - 547 KB] online.

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Subdivision

Subdivisions are defined as "the division of land into two or more parcels". This includes a simple lot line adjustment, but not a consolidation of two or more lots.

Subdivision can be both simple and quite complicated. If you are considering subdividing a property, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email to set up a Pre-Application Meeting. Our planning, building and engineering professionals will meet with you to answer your questions and discuss costs and the Subdivision application [PDF - 502 KB] process.

The City's Subdivision and Development Bylaw establishes the works and services to be provided within and adjacent to a subdivision. The Bylaw also outlines design guidelines and construction standards.

The Subdivision Approving Officer must approve subdivisions when:

  • Creating two or more parcels from one property;
  • Adjusting an existing property lot line;
  • Dedicating roads and parks; and
  • Creating a bare land strata development.

Before a final Subdivision Plan can be approved the Developer has the option to:

  •  Install required works and services; or
  • Provide security to guarantee works and services construction (requires City Council agreement).

Development Cost Charges

The City collects Development Cost Charges (DCCs) from land developers typically when properties are subdivided or at building permit stage. The monies collected help the City finance capital projects including sewage, water, drainage, roads and improving park land. The Development Cost Charges Bylaw outlines when DCCs are collected.  The City also has a DCC Reduction Bylaw  for affordable housing and sustainable building proposals.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.  You can dowload the Subdivision application [PDF - 502 KB] online.

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Temporary Use Permits


A Temporary Use Permit (TUP) is granted for a period of up to three years to allow a use in a specific zone that is not a current permitted use. The Temporary Use Permit may outline conditions and regulate construction of buildings or structures in respect of the use for which the TUP is carried out.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.  You can download the Temporary Use Permit application [PDF - 223 KB] online.

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Vacation Rentals


Permitted vacation rentals are residential homes rented as short term accommodations intended for the travelling public.

The Vacation Rental Bulletin [PDF - 113 KB], provides information on the following:

  • Business Licence requirements,
  • Types of dwellings that are eligible for vacation rental consideration,
  • Applicable zoning regulations,
  • Building upgrades that are required to receive vacation rental approval,
  • If strata corporation approval is required,
  • If insurance company notification is required for the operation of a vacation rental, and
  • Bylaw enforcement.

For further information, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.

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Zoning

What is the Zoning Bylaw?

The Zoning Bylaw is a Council-approved tool that ensures development is consistent with the Official Community Plan.
Zoning maps specify the different zoning designations within the City limits; such as Single-family, Multi-family, Commercial, Industrial and Institutional. The Zoning Bylaw specifies the regulations and permitted uses for properties within those designations.

What is a Zoning Amendment (aka Rezoning)?

A Zoning Amendment, more commonly referred to as Rezoning, is a land-use amendment to the Zoning Bylaw. The process of rezoning allows Council to analyze the potential impacts a land-use change and subsequent development may have on the community now and in the future, as envisioned in the Official Community Plan (OCP).

When is a Zoning Bylaw Amendment Required?

A Zoning Bylaw Amendment application [PDF - 540 KB] is required when a development proposal is not in compliance with provisions of the Zoning Bylaw and changes to components such as land use, density and parking are required for the development to proceed.

Some Rezoning applications may also require an OCP Amendment.  If the Rezoning application is consistent with the policies outlined in the OCP, it can proceed through the process without an OCP Amendment.  If the Rezoning application is not consistent with the OCP, it and the OCP Amendment application are processed concurrently through similar processes.

A formal Public Hearing is part of the Zoning Bylaw Amendment processes.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Department by phone (250) 490-2501 or email.  You can download the Zoning Amendment (Rezoning) application [PDF - 540 KB] online.

What are Specific Use Regulations?

The Zoning Bylaw  permits a number of 'specific uses,' such as secondary suites, carriage houses and home based businesses among others. The zoning bylaw outlines regulations for these uses above and beyond the regular development regulations listed for each zone.

For example, in the case of bed and breakfast operations, the specific use regulations require that the operator of a bed and breakfast reside within the house where the bed and breakfast exists.

The regulations are intended to integrate the specific uses into the neighbourhoods in which they are located. The following table outlines these regulations for each zone that the uses are permitted in.

Zones & Specific Use Table [PDF - 130 KB]

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