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Development Permits

Planning on developing your property? Near a creek , shoreline or in a hazardous area? You may need a development permit.

If your property is located within one or more Development Permit Areas, you may need a Development Permit before obtaining your building permit or subdivision preliminary layout acceptance. To find out if a property is in a DPA, download a Property Report for a specific address or PID.

Development Permit Areas (DPAs) and the corresponding requirements are outlined in each electoral area's Official Community Plan.  DPAs serve various purposes including:

  • Protecting the natural environment, such as creek or shoreline areas
  • Ensuring development considers hazardous site conditions, such as steep slopes, rockfall or flooding
  • Ensuring the form and character of commercial, industrial, or multi-family development follows relevant design guidelines.

As there are some exceptions, staff help determine if you need a DP.

In most Development Permit Areas,  a permit is required before any land alteration begins.  Commencing work without a permit is subject to doubled permit fees, added process, extended project timelines and bylaw enforcement action.

To Apply

  1. Prepare your documents, review the application requirements
  2. Book a pre-application meeting with a Planner at
  3. Prepare any further requirements following pre-application meeting
  4. Submit complete application package with all required documents, digital and hard copy (both are required). **Incomplete applications will not be accepted.**
  5. Pay the application fee. Fees will be accepted with a complete application package.

FORMS and Fees

  • Required forms:  the Development Permit Application Form.
    • Contaminated sites must be identified at the time of application.  More about contaminants and the disclosure process found here.
  • Application fees are found here.


SCRD's Development Permit for Riparian Areas assists property owners in meeting the obligations of BC's Riparian Areas Protection Regulation (RAPR) .  If development is proposed within 30m of a watercourse (creek, lake, wetland, pond or other freshwater) on private property,  please contact planning staff to discuss.

A Development Permit for Riparian Assessment includes a report completed by a Qualified Environmental Professional, who follow the provincial Riparian Areas Regulation after a site visit and evaluation of your proposal.  The riparian report is submitted to the Province for review and decision, as well included in the Development Permit applicaiton submitted to SCRD for review.

Geotechnical Hazard Development Permits

All Development Permits within a geotechnical hazard areas must include a report completed by a qualified geotechnical engineer.  The assessment report on the proposed development is required that meets the SCRD's Geo-Hazard Acceptability in Development Approval Policy prior to the SCRD issuing a Development Permit:

  • For seismic and flood hazards, the SCRD requires a development to meet the following standards corresponding to the type and size of the development:
Development Type and Size Seismic Event Creek Flooding Ocean Flooding
Restoration and Small Addition:
Restoration includes repair of a damaged structure or rebuilding of a structure within its existing location and spatial limits. Small addition includes an attached expansion to an existing building or a detached additional building with total gross floor area not exceeding 25% of the existing building or 60 m2, whichever is lesser.
8% in 50 years 1 in 50 years Anticipated sea level in 20 years
Small Development:
Construction of new buildings with total gross floor area between 60 m2 and 500 m2, lot line adjustments, but excluding subdivisions.
4% in 50 years 1 in 100 years Anticipated sea level in 60 years
Large Development or Subdivision:
New buildings with a total gross floor area exceeding 500 m2, or subdivision creating one or more additional lots.
2% in 50 years 1 in 200 years Anticipated sea level in 100 years
  • For landslides, the SCRD requires that the qualified professional’s report include a completed Appendix D: Landslide Assessment Assurance Statement
  • The SCRD requires the qualified professional’s report to state that the site is safe for the use intended and specify what conditions are required to ensure the site will be safe.
  • For all development approvals involving geo-hazards, the SCRD requires the property owner to register a “save harmless” covenant on title of the property indemnifying the SCRD and its elected and appointed officials from all geo-hazard liabilities or losses that may result from approval of the development application and accepting all geo-hazard risks, despite all required standards having been met and all reasonable avoidance and protective measures having been undertaken.
  • For all hazards including localized hazards such as debris flow and rock fall, the
    qualified professional must:
  1. describe the method of hazard or risk analysis used;
  2. refer to appropriate provincial, national or international guidelines or benchmarks for the level of safety;
  3. compare the guidelines with findings of his/her own investigation;
  4. make a finding on the level of safety on the property based on the comparison;
  5. make recommendations on design standards based on the comparison, the scale of the development and SCRD requirements in Policy 1.4;
  6. make recommendations to reduce hazards and risks such as siting requirements to avoid the hazards, requirements for protective work; and
  7. report on the requirements for future inspections of the property and recommend who should conduct those inspections.

This is a summary provided for convenience only. Please refer to the complete policy here.