Development Permits

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

What is a development permit?

A development permit (DP) allows the City to review proposed developments to ensure they meet the policies and objectives of City Plan as well as the City's development permit guidelines.

There are eight Development Permit Areas in the city:

  • DPA 1 - Environmentally Sensitive Areas;
  • DPA 2 - Hazardous Slopes;
  • DPA 3 - Sea Level Rise;
  • DPA 4 - Abandoned Mine Workings Hazards;
  • DPA 5 - Wildfire Hazard;
  • DPA 6 - Steep Slope Development;
  • DPA 7 - Nanaimo Parkway Design; and
  • DPA 8 - Form and Character. 

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. See Part 18 of the Zoning Bylaw for application, guidelines, and exemption information for the eight DP Areas.

What is the development permit application process?

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
    Submit your complete application, including the application fee.

  2. Design Advisory Panel Meeting (for DPA 6, 7, and 8 only)          

    You and your design team make a presentation to the Design Advisory Panel (DAP).

  3. Comprehensive Review      

    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)

    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.


    Delegated Approval (No Variances/Minor Variances)
    If you aren’t applying for a major variance, a report with City Staff’s recommendation is forwarded to the Director of Planning & Development for approval.

  5. Development Permit & Land Title Office Registration
    Upon approval, the 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 the title of their land.

Once approved, a DP is valid for two years. 

As every property and development proposal is unique, application requirements can vary. Before you apply, please contact City Staff to set up a meeting to discuss your application. Staff 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
  • Heritage Alteration Permits = $500

Design Advisory Panel

If you require a form and character development permit (DPA 6, 7, and 8) you and your design team will have to make a presentation to the Design Advisory Panel (DAP).

More Information about the Design Advisory Panel

Permit Fee Calculator

New/Additional Gross Floor Area (metres squared):

Note: This is for a rough calculation ONLY and may not necessarily reflect your final permit fee.

Contact Us

Current Planning Section 250-755-4429 ext. 4275

Last updated: April 16, 2024

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