Making a Development Application

In many cases, prior to being able to apply for a building permit, a development application such as a rezoning, development permit or subdivision may be required. This section provides information on these applications, include general information, the development process involved, and the cost of each of application type. Development applications involving heritage buildings or structures are covered on the heritage and development page.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an interim development review process has been established to enable priority development applications to move forward for review and public engagement, while maintaining physical distancing.  To learn more about the interim development review process, click here.

Application Intake Appointment | Costs Associated with Development Applications | Letter of Authorization

Application Intake Appointment

Before submitting an application, applicants need to contact the Planning Division and make an intake appointment.  This ensures that the process is smooth and efficient.

Costs Associated with Development Applications

An important part of any potential application is the consideration of the associated costs. These may include application fees, legislated charges such as development cost charges and school site acquisition charges, and amenity contributions or bonus density contributions associated with some kinds of developments. Click here to learn more about the financing growth program. The types of professionals required by the application and their associated cost are also necessary to consider.

Letter of Authorization

If you are submitting an application on behalf of the property owner(s), you need a Letter of Authorization signed by the owner(s) who registered on title.  If the property is owned by a company, you will also need documents that show that the person signing the Letter of Authorization on behalf of the company has the authority to do so.

  • Development Permits

    The City uses Development Permits as a tool to direct and control, among other things, the form and character of the built environment, as it relates to architectural and landscape design.

    Development Permit Areas (DPAs) are established within the Official Community Plan, Downtown Community Plan and Queensborough Community Plan. Properties in areas identified as a DPA must apply for a Development Permit prior to doing any work which would result in the development or alteration to the lands or exterior of buildings on the lands.  In cases where the scope of work is minor, there is a smaller application fee and faster review process.

    Design guidelines and other policy documents may also be applicable to development permit applications.

    Guide: Development Permits and Minor Development Permits

  • Development Permits, Special

    A Special Development Permit is required before doing any work which would result in development or alteration to the lands or exterior of buildings on the lands within a portion of the Downtown.

    Special Development Permits function much like a regular Development Permit, but under the New Westminster Redevelopment Act, the City was given special authority to regulate urban redevelopment in these specified areas.

    Special Development Permits can be issued by the Director of Development Services.

    Guide: Special Development Permits.

  • Development Variance Permits

    A Development Variance Permit allows a property owner or a developer to apply for a variance from the provisions of the Zoning Bylaw, such as building height or setback requirements.

    As the Zoning Bylaw cannot anticipate each development scenario in the City, Council needs some flexibility relative to the Zoning Bylaw to consider different design solutions, where appropriate. This tool cannot be used to change permitted land use or density.  

    NEW: Development Variance Permits no longer require an Opportunity to be Heard at this time.  Council would continue to receive all feedback provided by email or written submissions prior to consideration of issuance of these permits.

    Guide: Development Variance Permits

    As an alternative to a Development Variance Permit, property owners may be eligible to apply to the Board of Variance. The Board of Variance considers variances which are, in the opinion of the board, both minor and cause the applicant hardship if required to conform to zoning requirements.

  • A Pre-Application Review precedes a formal development application and can quickly identify key development considerations.
  • Rezoning

    If a proposed development does not conform with the requirements of the Zoning Bylaw (e.g. land use and density) you may need to apply for a Zoning Bylaw amendment. This is accomplished through the rezoning process.

    The rezoning process allows both the City and the community to analyze the potential effects and benefits that a development may have. This involves analysis of surrounding land use and evaluating compliance with existing City policies, including the Official Community Plan.

    Guide: Rezoning

    Development Information Sign Requirements

  • Temporary Use Permits

    A Temporary Use Permit (TUP) is a special permit issued by Council that allows a land use not permitted in the current zoning of a property to be situated on site for a limited period of time.

    A Temporary Use Permit has a maximum term of three years and can be renewed once by Council for the same length of term.  The site can be used in accordance with the terms of the permit until the expiration date.

    NEW: Temporary Use Permits no longer require an Opportunity to be Heard at this time.  Council would continue to receive all feedback provided by email or written submissions prior to consideration of issuance of these permits.