Development Applications

Development can be a project as small as renovating a house, or as large as building a major office tower. Depending on the type of development project, there are specific processes to note.

If you're interested in developing a property that is consistent with the City's regulations for the site, you don't need to submit a development application. You do not require special permission from Council or public input. Instead, you can apply for a Building Permit and/or Business Licence.

If you are a developer wanting to build or develop a property in a way that does not fit within the City's existing regulations, you must apply for Council permission by submitting the appropriate development application(s). A development application is a formal request for a change to one or more of the City's existing regulations. When Council receives a development request, they will seek input from City staff, advisory bodies and the public before deciding whether to grant permission for the development.


Step 1: Pre-Consultation Application

  • Pre-Consultation is the first step in the development application review process. It enables early discussion and formalized feedback from City staff on preliminary development proposals. This feedback will assist in the preparation of your planning and development application.
  • To prepare a Pre-Consultation Application, please review the relevant guidelines and bylaws. Applicants should engage an Architect, Designer or Planning Professional to prepare a Pre-Consultation Application.
  • Pre-Consultation Form

Step 2: Planning / Development Permit Application

Types of Development Applications

Planning Applications

Development Variance Permits

A development variance permit allows a developer to request an exception to a small aspect of the zoning restrictions without making a change to the zoning category. For example, developers may apply to vary the height of a building that is, to be allowed to build higher than that which is allowed in the Zoning Bylaw.


If developers want to build on or use a property in ways that differ significantly from what the current zoning allows, they may apply to have the property rezoned. Examples of changes that could require rezoning include: building a duplex on a lot zoned for a single-unit residence, or converting a restaurant into a pub.

Official Community Plan Amendments

The Official Community Plan describes the long-term vision for the City. It is reviewed approximately every ten years, but small minor changes, or amendments, can be made in between reviews. An example of a development project that could require an amendment to the Official Community Plan would be if a developer owned a property that was zoned for industrial use but wished to build commercial office space on it.

Development Permit Applications

The Official Community identifies a number of uses and locations in the City where development is permitted through the approval of a Development Permit. Examples of types of development approved in this manner include sites within the Shipyard precinct, or Harbourside Waterfront area, Coach House developments, or development located in streamside areas.

Development Application Resources

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