Please contact the Development Services Department before you submit any of the following applications as we are available to discuss the nature of your proposal, indentify what applications may be required and answer any questions you may have.
Your application will be processed in accordance with Regional District’s Development Procedures Bylaw No. 2500, 2011. Application fees are contained in the Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 2650, 2014.
Additional information including professional reports prepared at your cost, may be required to support your application. Your application may take several months to process.
Please note, an application is a process of evaluation and does not automatically ensure approval of your proposal.
BYLAW AMENDMENT APPLICATIONS
Official Community Plan Bylaw
An Official Community Plan (OCP) is a statement of broad objectives and policies regarding the form, character and density of existing and future land use and servicing requirements for the Regional District. When land is proposed for a use or density not consistent with the Plan, then an amendment is required.
All Official Community Plan Bylaw amendments and any proposals that may require an amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy should also include a completed Sustainability Checklist.
Most Electoral Areas within the Regional District are divided into designated land use categories or zones, pursuant to the relevant Zoning Bylaw. When land is proposed for a use or density not permitted in a particular zone in which the land is situated, then an application for rezoning is necessary.
Land Use Contract
Land Use Contracts (LUC) may no longer be entered into under Provincial legislation, however, there remain a small number of LUCs within the Regional District, and these can either be amended or discharged in order to allow a use or density not contemplated under the original contract.
Development Permits (DP) may be required prior to the issuance of building permits, the registration of subdivisions or alterations of land on properties that are designated as Development Permit Areas in an Official Community Plan. Development Permit Areas can be established where there are natural hazardous conditions; to protect the environment; or to regulate the form and character of commercial development.
The Regional District is home to some of the most endangered habitats in Canada and large numbers of species at risk. To minimise the impact of development on these areas, Environmentally Sensitive Development Permits (ESDPs) have been implemented. ESDPs are usually required prior to any disturbance of land or vegetation and it is best to contact the RDOS as early in your planning as possible (NOTE: these generally apply to areas and activities which are outside of the Agricultural Land Reserve but the details may vary between Electoral Areas).
Watercourses which have fish or are connected to watercourses with fish have generally been designated as Watercourse Development Permit (WDP) Areas. WDP Areas are assessed based on the Provincial Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) and relate to commercial, industrial or residential development only. A property owner is responsible to secure the assistance of a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) in order to determine what the setback from the watercourse. The QEP will be responsible to file a report with the Province, monitor the project and report on the completion. Once the report is filed and approved, the property owner may apply for a WDP using the assessment report as the plan.
Hillside developments are typically more difficult to construct and can have greater environmental, physical, and visual impacts than development that occurs on level sites. Hillside locations can also be subject to hazards and adverse impacts from subdivision and road building. These factors therefore require that hillside development should be more carefully planned and developed. A report prepared by an appropriate professional (Registered Engineer or Geoscientist) shall accompany an application for a Development Permit. It is expected that the development plans and design will reflect the findings of the report.
DEVELOPMENT PERMIT APPLICATION FORM (Environmentally Sensitive; Watercourse Development; Form & Character Permit, and Hillside/Steep Slope Permit)
Development Variance Permit
Development Variance Permits (DVP) may be required prior to subdivision approval or the issuance of a building permit if the structure does not meet zoning requirements such as setbacks or height limitations established in the Zoning Bylaw. A DVP may also be needed when existing conditions on a property pose difficulties for the siting of new structures. DVP's cannot be used to vary the permitted uses or density of the zoning.
Board of Variance Permit
The Board of Variance (BoV) functions independently of the RDOS Board and has jurisdiction to issue orders relating to minor issues concerning land use and RDOS Zoning Bylaws. Applications for an order of the BoV may be made where compliance with certain bylaws may cause undue hardship and where the variance is minor. Examples of the Board's jurisdiction include allowing a structural alteration or addition to a building containing a non-conforming use or a variance respecting the siting, dimensions or size of a building.
Temporary Use Permit
A Temporary Use Permit (TUP) authorises a temporary use that is not otherwise permitted in a Zoning Bylaw, and without the need for a zoning amendment. TUPs are only issued if provision is made for them in the relevant Official Community Plan Bylaw, and are generally issued for transitional uses, or uses where uncertainty exists respecting appropriateness or viability of the use, and where it is premature to decide upon rezoning and long-term land use rights. TUPs are not considered a substitute for a rezoning application and can be issued for a maximum of three (3) years.
Campsite or Manufactured Home Park Permit
An application to create a new manufactured home park or campground, or to extend an existing manufactured home park or campground on parcels zoned for such uses and in accordance with the Campsite and Mobile Home Park Bylaw No. 713, 1982.
Through amendments to the Local Government Act enacted in 2003 and 2004, local governments acquired exclusive jurisdiction over floodplain designations within their boundaries. Local government may specify different flood levels and setbacks in relation to different flood hazard characteristics and different types of uses, buildings, structures, and machinery and equipment within buildings and structures. RDOS floodplain regulations are contained in each Electoral Area Zoning Bylaw, and an exemption application would allow for the consideration of granting an exemption that would change those specific regulations for a given property.
Strata Title Conversion
A Strata Title Conversion is the division of an existing building into two or more strata title units. Strata Title is a form of ownership in which the unit owners have a share in the title to the property. Common amenities on the property are also shared. Strata Title Conversion in the Regional District is controlled by the Strata Property Act and the Zoning Bylaw. This ensures that the proposed Strata Title Conversion meet health, safety, and servicing requirements. It also ensures a better standard of growth and development within the RDOS.
GOVERNMENT AGENCY REFERRALS
The Regional District reviews referrals from various government agencies and companies regarding foreshore licences, burning permits, forest development plans, water licences, pesticide use permits, gravel removal, road developments, etc.
Agricultural Land Reserve
If the land is within the ALR, a property owner cannot subdivide or use the land for any use other than specified under the ALC Act, or if permission has been granted by the ALC. Applications to the ALC to remove land from the ALR, to subdivide land within the ALR, or to use ALR land for non-farm purposes, are made through the Regional District’s Development Services Department.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) is the approving authority for subdivisions within the Regional District, however, the RDOS has additional requirements that must be adhered to (see subdivision regulations). All persons who are interested in subdividing their property are encouraged to contact the Regional District.