Skip to page body Home City Government Services Parks & Recreation Arts & Culture Discover Port Moody Business Online Services

What are Development Permits and Development Permit Areas? 
When should a Development Permit Application be submitted? 
Development Permits 
Minor Development Permits 
Pre-application 
Application submission 
Application review and circulation 
Technical review team meeting 
Preliminary list of requirements and comments letter 
Advisory Design Panel
Submission of coordinated plan sets 
Development permit 
Servicing agreement 
Development permit report to Council 
Development permit issuance 
How long does the Development Permit process take?

What are Development Permits and Development Permit Areas?

Under Section 920 of the Local Government Act, Council may designate Development Permit Areas through the City's Official Community Plan where design guidelines for development apply. Development Permit Areas include lands intended for multiple family residential, commercial or industrial use, heritage conservation as well as environmentally sensitive or potentially hazardous lands. Each area has development guidelines relating to at least one of the following objectives:

  • to achieve an appropriate form and character of development for that area;
  • to protect heritage areas; and
    to protect the natural environment and prevent hazardous conditions.

Approved development permits are registered against the title of the property. Development permits will lapse two years after being issued if the development has not commenced. 

When should a Development Permit Application be submitted?

development permit application is required when a change is proposed to the land use or buildings on a property located within a Development Permit Area or when a change is proposed to an approved development permit.

Maps showing the location of the City's Development Permit Areas and associated design and development guidelines for each of the areas may be viewed at the Planning and Development Services Department.

The City differentiates between Development Permits which are authorized for issuance by Council and Minor Development Permits which may by issued by staff.

Development Permits

Development Permits are required in accordance with the Development Permit Area Guidelines in the Official Community Plan, except when the work is limited to:

  • Repairs, re-painting, re-roofing and replacement of windows and doors provided that their location is not altered; or
  • Additions to existing buildings that will be the lesser of 46.5 m2 (500 sq. ft.) or ten percent of the existing total floor area.

Minor Development Permits

In accordance with City policy, the Director of Development Services may deem a Development Permit application to be minor where it meets all of the following criteria:

  • No major variances to the City's Zoning Bylaw are necessary;
  • The application involves additions to existing buildings that will be the lesser of 100 m2 (1076 sq. ft.) or ten percent of the existing total floor area; and
  • Parking requirements are not affected by a change of building occupancy (i.e. no changes are required to on-site parking).

Development Permit application proceeds through a review and approval process that includes the steps summarized on this flow chart. As shown on the flow chart, the process for a minor development permit does not include all of the steps summarized and follows a shorter review and approval process.

Pre-application

Prior to submitting a development permit application, the applicant should first review the Development Permit Area Design Guidelines to understand the form and character of development desired for a particular area. The applicant should also review the City's Zoning Bylaw and the Subdivision Servicing Bylaw to determine whether the proposal meets all of the City's requirements and standards. The applicant is urged to prepare a preliminary development proposal and should meet with staff to discuss the proposal.

For more complex Development Permit, Rezoning or Official Community Plan Amendment applications it is recommended to apply for a Pre-Application review. This process provides a preliminary review prior to making a subsequent, more detailed development application. The review provides a coordinated response from relevant City departments regarding any major issues, as can be determined from the preliminary concept plans and proposed development description submitted.

The review process does not include referrals to outside bodies or organizations, nor does it imply or suggest a decision by the City to either support or refuse any subsequent detailed application. However, the information from the pre-application review is intended to assist the applicant in identifying any key issues associated with the development proposal, which should be made prior to proceeding with a detailed full application.

Application submission

Once a proposal has been prepared, a completed development permit application package including the applicable fees is submitted. The applicant may also choose to submit the development permit in conjunction with a rezoning or subdivision application where applicable. Where a development proposal is perceived to have a high impact on the neighbourhood or community, the applicant is advised to hold an information meeting or open house to inform the neighbouring property owners of the proposal.

Application review and circulation

The application is circulated to internal City departments and external agencies as necessary. Staff, a Design Consultant and Landscape Architect review the application to ensure that the proposed development meets the design guidelines for the development permit area. The applicant may be requested to submit additional information or revise the proposal as a result of the review.

Technical review team meeting

City staff meet as a Technical Review Team to review development permit applications and identify items to be addressed to meet City bylaw requirements.

Preliminary list of requirements and comments letter

A letter is forwarded to the applicant outlining comments received from circulation of the application. The letter also identifies the preliminary list of technical requirements for the development to proceed, which may include infrastructure improvements, and issuance of a tree removal permit. The technical requirements identified in this letter may form the basis for the Servicing Agreement discussed below. (Many of these items may be addressed through a rezoning or subdivision if processed concurrently.)

Advisory Design Panel

The role of the Advisory Design Panel (ADP) is to advise the Director of Development Services and/or City Council on the quality of design of development projects under review by the City. All applications for Rezoning, Development Permit and Heritage Alteration Permits are required to be referred to the ADP as part of the review process.


Submission of coordinated plan sets

If necessary, the applicant submits coordinated sets of architectural, landscape and civil engineering plans to address the Preliminary List of Requirements and Comments letter. The plan submission is reviewed by staff. Re-submission of the plans may be requested to address staff comments. Based on the submission and estimates provided by the applicant, security and fee amounts for civil and landscaping works are determined.

Development permit

The development permit is prepared as part of a restrictive covenant drafted by the applicant's Solicitor in accordance with the City format. The development permit secures the applicant's commitment to finalize the plan submission to the satisfaction of the City and pay the appropriate fees and securities prior to issuance of a building permit.

Servicing agreement

A servicing agreement may be required in support of the civil works. The agreement is attached to the restrictive covenant as a schedule.

Development permit report to Council

Once all necessary technical requirements are addressed, and, if required, external agency approvals received, staff prepare a report/recommendation on the proposed development permit for Council's consideration. Council considers the development permit application and either authorizes issuance of the development permit, requests additional information or rejects.

Development permit issuance

If necessary, the applicant addresses any further technical requirements, finalizes plans and pays all required fees and securities prior to building permit issuance.

How long does the Development Permit process take?

development permit application generally takes two to four months to process. It should be recognized that the more complex a proposal is, the more time it is likely to require.

To assist with timely processing of the application, an applicant should provide complete application and plan submissions.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact the Development Services Department at 604.469.4540.

Quick links - gold

Development Permit and or Heritage Alteration Permit Process Summary
Click to enlarge this flow chart

Last updated: 06/01/2015 3:24:09 PM