Development Permits / Special Development Permits

The Local Government Act or the New Westminster Redevelopment Act can require Development Permits (DP) or Special Development Permits (SDP) to be issued prior to construction within certain areas of New Westminster.
These permits are tools which can be used to: 
  • Achieve the desired form and character of commercial, industrial, or multi-unit residential development;
  • Revitalize commercial areas;
  • Prevent development from creating hazardous conditions;
  • Protect the natural environment;
  • Promote water and energy conservation; or,
  • Promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Official Community Plan establishes areas for DPs within the city and includes guidelines relevant to that area.
There is a wide variety of DPs and the review process and application materials required will depend on the scope and complexity of the work proposed. 
When is a Development Permit Required?
DPs are required for:
  • new buildings,
  • additions, 
  • changes to the building envelope,
  • changes to landscaping, surface parking lots, and accessory buildings,
  • temporary residential sales centres, and
  • development near environmentally sensitive areas or areas within flood plains.
DPs are also required for Laneway or Carriage Houses and for flood protection within Queensborough. The application and review processes for these permits are different and more information is available on the Laneway and Carriage House webpage
If the proposed project requires variances to permitted use, density or other Zoning Bylaw regulations, a Zoning Bylaw Amendment or Development Variance Permit may also be necessary. 

Application Review
Once you’ve submitted an application, Planning staff would coordinate the application review, which may involve other City departments and committees. The application review process is informed by the scope and complexity of the application and on what other associated applications are also needed. A summary of key components of this process is below and Planning Staff should be contacted for further information related to specific sites, inquiries and applications. Additional information may be required through this process and, once feedback is received, changes to the application are expected.
Permit Approval 
The Director of Climate Action, Planning and Development can approve or reject DP or SDP applications. Following application review, The Director will consider the application for approval. The Director may choose to refer an application to Council for a decision or feedback.  Prior to approval, the Development Permit application process may require the submission of a landscape deposit to ensure that the installed landscaping reflects the approved design.
Consultation with neighbours, the community, City committees and stakeholders may be required depending on the scale, impact, scope or complexity of the proposed application. Planning staff can provide further feedback through an inquiry review.
New Westminster Design Panel
Applications, except residential applications with six units or less, may be asked applicant to the New Westminster Design Panel (NWDP), an architectural and landscape design peer review panel. The NWDP may provide comments and make recommendations, which may require changes to the design.