Richmond Development Permit Application Guide

The City of Richmond has an in-depth process for reviewing development permit applications. The applications are reviewed at several levels from various city departments and the City Council. All applications for development permits are processed by the City’s Advisory Design Panel. 

Developing a property in Richmond involves several steps. In order to make your application process easier, we’ve listed the steps you need to take to get your project going, and explain how and when Simple Sign can help facilitate this process for you. 

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How to Apply for a Development Permit in Richmond

Step 1: Review your Proposed Development with the City of Richmond

The first step in getting a development permit from the City of Richmond is to conduct a preliminary review of your proposed project with the Development Applications Department. During this review, you will review the details of your project and ensure adherence to development permit guidelines and necessary documentation for your application. These include official community plans, zoning by-laws, and engineering requirements. If your proposed development also requires a change in zoning, check out Simple Sign’s Guide Applying for a Rezoning Permit in Richmond.

Step 2: Prepare and Submit Your Development Permit Application

When filling out the application, ensure that all guidelines have been met in order to reduce processing time and improve your application’s chance of approval. It is also highly recommended that you involve an architect and landscape architect in the application completion as they have the necessary knowledge of the complex information required in the application form. 

The Development Permit Application is available at Richmond City Hall at the Zoning Counter, or online here. You can submit the formal development permit application to the Zoning counter at Richmond City Hall.

Step 3: Initial Review of Your Development Application

Once the application has been submitted, it is first reviewed for completeness and may be sent back to you if there is missing information. The application undergoes a technical review by city planners and other agencies. A letter will be sent to you within a few weeks of submitting a complete application, notifying you that the review process is underway. 

Step 4: Requirement of Development Application Signs

At this point, the City will request for the applicant to install one or more development application signs on their property that notifies other landowners and community members of your plans, and that an application has been submitted.

The City will send the applicant a letter to outline how many signs are required and also the exact text which should be included on the development application sign(s). This process often means dealing with the hassles approval, dealing with sign shops and the annoyance of building frames to display your signs properly.

The team at Simple Sign can use this letter from the city planner to create the graphic design for the sign and install the development sign quickly and at a competitive price point.
Simple Sign is also able to proof any development sign information to ensure it meets requirements and submit sign information directly to the City for approval.
We guarantee the installation of development signs within 3 business days, removing the burden of handling signage design and installation from your busy schedule. 
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Step 5: Final Review and Approval of Development Application

After the initial review of your development application, the City will send a letter with any comments, revision requirements, or any additional documentation required. Revised applications are to include all required revisions before it moves forward in the review process. Time limits for processing a Development permit application are not standardized, as variables in type, size, and complexity can have a significant impact on processing periods.

After all relevant city departments and staff have reviewed the application, the Advisory Design Panel, Development Permit Panel will conduct further review. If the application needs to be revised or changes need to be made, these must be completed before reaching City Council for final review. If the City Council deems the application valid, issuance of the development permit will be granted by the Mayor and City Clerk. 

Step 6: Issuance of Development Permit and Building Permit Application

After all of the requirements for your project have been met if you had a conditional approval, a development permit will be granted for your project. Once you have received the development permit, a subsequent building permit application will be required.