Development Variance Permits

There may be times when a development proposal doesn't align entirely with the Zoning Bylaw, Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw or other City bylaws. This can include height, setbacks from property lines, etc. In these instances, you may apply for a development variance permit to seek an exemption from the requirements.

To speed up processing, applicants can submit a development variance permit application at the same time as any applicable rezoning, subdivision or development permit applications for a proposed project.

An approved development variance permit is registered on the title of the property at the Land Title Office. Development variance permits will lapse two years after being issued if development has not started.

Apply for a development variance permit

Prior to submitting a development variance permit application, we recommend that you consult with City planning staff by phone or email to make sure that you have all of the necessary paperwork. This will help you save time during the application process.

Completed application forms and supporting documentation should be submitted by email to If your files are too large for email, staff will provide an online upload link. If you are unable to digitally submit your application, please call or email to schedule an in person appointment.

Submissions will be vetted for completeness before payment is processed.

Application form and submission requirements
 Your application submission should include:
  • completed development variance permit application (PDF)
  • application fee – see Fees Bylaw 
  • Certificate of Title dated no more than 30 days prior to the application
  • Letter of Intent that outlines the current use, proposed use, and justification for the proposal
  • Site profile, if required by the Environmental Managements Act, Contaminated Sites Regulations, Schedule 2
  • Site Survey, prepared by a licensed BC Land Surveyor
  • Detailed Site Plan
  • Landscape Plan, prepared by a Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect
  • Colour photographs of the current site

Review the Development Variance Permit brochure (PDF) for additional information on the application process and requirements.

Application review

Once we receive your application, it will be reviewed by internal city departments and external agencies as necessary. As part of this process we may request additional information or revisions to the proposal.

Once the plans are finalized, staff prepare a report to Council. Council then either approves the permit, requests additional information, or rejects the Development Variance Permit. In most cases it can take two to four months for a Development Variance Permit to be processed, though the timing may vary depending on a number of factors, including: complexity, quality of submissions, application volume etc.