Vancouver Development Permit Application Guide

The City of Vancouver manages the changes in the use of land, buildings, construction, or engineering to promote livability and functionality within the City. This means that every project has to go through a process of development application and reviews by the community and city staff members. Applying and getting approval for a development permit in Vancouver is a multi-step process.

In order to make the application for your development easier, we’ve listed the steps you need to take in order to get your development 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 Vancouver

Step 1: Identify and Review your Zoning District and Regulations

The first step in acquiring a development permit in Vancouver is to review your property’s zoning designation. The City of Vancouver is split up into different zoning districts, and the by-laws vary between these districts. Check out this map provided by the City in order to find your zoning district. If your proposed development also requires a change in zoning, check out Simple Sign’s Guide on Applying for a Rezoning Permit in Vancouver.

Step 2: Get Advice on Your Development

Involving outside parties to help guide you through the development process can save you significant time and effort. Getting advice from a design professional is always recommended, especially when a separate development permit is necessary.

Contacting the City of Vancouver’s staff is another great resource to help you ensure that you are meeting regulations, by-laws and all policies before you submit a development application. This can reduce the likelihood of headaches and complications down the road. Contact the City of Vancouver’s Development and Building Services Centre at [email protected] or phone at 604-873-7611.

Step 3: Submit Your Development Permit Application

Complete the Application Form from the City. To ensure your application has the best possible chance of approval without any complications, go over a specific checklist from the City for your building type.

Next, you’ll have to book an appointment with a city staff representative to review your application and any related documents and pay the application fee. Booking is available through [email protected] or by phone at 604-873-7611.

Step 4: Review of your Development Application

The City reviews each application in detail and may involve various committees or panels. These groups analyze your project on several levels, and may require additional documentation or materials on your proposed project. A request for these documents will be made if they are necessary. The public is also involved in the review process, as they are directly affected by the neighbouring building operations. Most of the time, all neighbouring business and landowners are informed about the proposed project as well as nearby community members and groups and their feedback is taken into account in the decision process.

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: Development Application Approval or Denial

After the review process of your application is completed by advisors, committees, panels and the public, a decision will be made. If your application is approved, any remaining requirements and adherence to regulations resulting in changes to the application must be updated before you receive a permit. If your application is denied, or was approved subject to regulations that you do not agree with, an appeal can be made here

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 within 1 year of your development permit issuance.