Development Permits

Planning on developing your property? You may need a development permit.

What is the purpose of a development permit?

A development permit (DP) allows City staff to review proposed developments to ensure they meet the policies and objectives of the Official Community Plan as well as the City's environmental, heritage, and design guidelines.

Do I need a development permit?

If your property is located within one or more Development Permit Areas, you may need a DP before obtaining your building permit or subdivision preliminary layout acceptance.

There are nine Development Permit Areas in the City, which serve various purposes including:

  • Protecting the natural environment;
  • Ensuring development considers hazardous site conditions, such as steep slopes; and,
  • Ensuring the form and character of commercial, industrial, or multi-family development follows relevant design guidelines.

As there are some exceptions, we can help you determine if you need a DP.

What is the application process for a development permit?

Prior to submitting your application, please book a pre-application meeting with City staff to discuss your project and to determine the application requirements.

  1. Submit Application: Process Begins
    Submit your complete application, including the application fee.

  2. Design Advisory Panel Meeting: Weeks 1-2

    You and your design team make a presentation to the Design Advisory Panel (DAP). A written response to received DAP recommendations is required.

  3. Comprehensive Review: Weeks 1-4

    Your DP application is referred to other City departments and external agencies to provide you with comprehensive feedback on your application. Revised plans and additional documents may be required.

  4. Council (Major Variances): Weeks 5-8

    Your application may involve requesting a significant variance from the Zoning Bylaw regulations. If so, a report formalizing City staff’s recommendations goes to Council for approval.

    OR

    Posting (No Variances/Minor Variances): Weeks 5-8
    If you aren’t applying for a major variance, a Project Summary for your DP is prepared and “posted” to Council chambers for Council review and approval by the Director of Community Development.

  5. Development Permit & Land Title Office Registration: Process Complete
    Upon approval, a Development Permit is prepared and forwarded to the applicant. Notice of Permit is also forwarded to the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC for registration on title.

Once approved, a DP is valid for two years. If the project has been substantially started and the building process requires no amendments, the original DP is in effect until the process is completed.

Development Permit Application Process (PDF)

How do I apply for a development permit?

As every property and development proposal is unique, application requirements can vary. Before you apply, please contact us to set up a meeting to discuss your application. We will help guide you through the application process.

Application Forms:

Design Guidelines:

What is the fee for a development permit application?

All DP applications cost $750 + $2 per 100m2 of new/additional gross building floor area to a maximum of $2000 with the exception of:

  • Watercourse development permits for single family dwellings or where no construction will take place = $100
  • Watercourse development permits for in stream restoration or rehabilitation projects conducted by individuals or groups solely for stream improvement projects = No fee

Design Advisory Panel

If you require a form and character development permit you and your design team will have to make a presentation to the Design Advisory Panel (DAP).

DAP meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month at 5:00 pm in the Service & Resource Centre Boardroom.

2017 DAP Meeting Dates
More Information about DAP

Contact Us

Current Planning & Subdivision Department 250-755-4429
planning@nanaimo.ca

Last updated: June 29, 2017

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