Are you looking to subdivide your property into two or more lots? Build a multi-family development? Add a carriage house? Change the zoning on your property? All of these developments involve our Planning Department.
We Can Help
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. To book your free pre-application meeting and for useful information on how to prepare for the meeting, please visit our Pre-Application Meetings page.
Development Application Types
Zoning regulations place limits on land use to help the City develop strategically, to protect the character of our neighborhoods and to ensure businesses are operating in the right zone.
The Zoning map identifies a property’s zoning designation such as residential, commercial and institutional.
If you would like to find out the Zoning designation of your property, please visit our Maps & GIS page.
About Zoning Amendment/Re-Zoning Applications
A Zoning Amendment application, more commonly referred to as rezoning, is a land-use amendment to the Zoning Bylaw. When a development proposal is not in compliance with provisions of the Zoning Bylaw and changes to components such as land use and density are required for the development to proceed a Rezoning application is necessary.
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 process.
Download the Rezoning Application.
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 online.
A formal public hearing is part of the process to amend the Official Community Plan.
Development Permit Areas in the City help manage the form and character of commercial and intensive/multifamily residential development and also guide development in terms of hillside, environmentally-sensitive and riparian areas.
Development Permit Guidelines ensure that development is sensitive to its context, provides broader benefits and minimizes negative impacts. The Guidelines apply to forms of development with greater impact or to the development of more sensitive areas.
Section 5 of the City’s Official Community Plan outlines Development Permit Guidelines.
When is a Development Permit Required?
- Most new developments including industrial, commercial, institutional, multi-family (two or more dwelling units) and carriage houses.
- A new development when the property is located within a Development Permit Area designated in the Official Community Plan.
- Development within environmentally-sensitive riparian and hillside areas.
- Changes to an existing Development Permit, with the exception of specified exterior modifications in permitted areas.
How Do I Know if My Property is in a Development Permit Area?
Who Approves a Development Permit?
Depending on the development, staff or Council can issue Development Permits. Larger scale developments, or developments requiring a rezoning or variance from City Bylaws, are decided on by Council.
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 also be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Download the Development Permit application.
Once issued, the Development Permit (and any future amendments to that Development Permit) is registered against the title of the property. The City ensures development 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.
NEW Development Variance Permit Application Process:
On December 14, 2024, Council adopted Development Procedures and Delegation Bylaw 2023-42. New in this bylaw, is the ability for the Director of Development Services (staff) to approve and issue Minor Development Variance Permits (Minor DVPs). A Minor DVP varies the following:
a) a setback regulation by no more than 25%;
b) a building footprint, carriage house floor area, lot area, lot coverage, lot width, or height regulation by no more than 10%;
c) a landscape buffer regulation;
d) a provision of the Sign Regulation Bylaw No. 2013 -17, as amended or superseded;
e) a fence or retaining wall height regulation; or
f) a lot coverage or setback regulation in a phased strata subdivision.
If a variance does not meet this criteria, then it is considered a Major Development Variance Permit and it is forwarded to Council for their consideration.
Please note that there is a new fee structure, effective December 14, 2023, for development variance permits:
- Major Variance (Council Decision) $1,510.00
- Minor Variance (Staff Issuable) $825.00
Variance Permits are used to vary provisions of City bylaws, including the Zoning Bylaw, and the Subdivision & Development Bylaw.
What can be Varied?
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?
'Major' Development Variance Permits are granted by a resolution of City Council and 'Minor' Development Variance Permits are issued by the Director of Development Services (staff).
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 in writing.
Download the Variance Permit Application.
A Temporary Use Permit (TUP) is granted for a period of up to three years to allow use in a specific zone that is not currently permitted use. The Temporary Use Permit may outline conditions and regulate the 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.
Download the Temporary Use Permit application.
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.
Download the Sign Permit application.
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.
The Board of Variance consists of five people appointed by the 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 policy or change the intent of a bylaw that has been adopted by Council.
Applications 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 decide as to whether or not there is an undue hardship.
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 us 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 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 (Early Registration Agreement)
Download your Subdivision Application forms.
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 (4+ units) or Director of Development Services (2-4 Units)
- 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 subdivision 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 us 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.
Visit our Applications & Forms page to download related forms.
- New Strata
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.
For more information, visit the Carriage Houses page.
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.