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 emailing or phoning 604-469-4540 to make sure that you have all of the necessary paperwork. This will help you save time during the application process.

  1. Review the Development Application Submission Requirements Checklist (PDF).
  2. Visit Submit a Development Application for detailed application information and to submit your application online.

Review the Guide to Development Variance Permits (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 for Council consideration. 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.