Development Application Fees

The Development Application Fees Bylaw sets out the fees imposed for development related activities such as rezonings, development permits, development variance permits, heritage alteration permits, subdivisions and stratifications, and soil deposit and removals. It also sets out the fees for the processing of latecomer agreements, engineering and inspection fees for subdivisions, and survey monuments, pursuant to Subdivision, Development & Servicing Bylaw and the Land Title Act and sign permits pursuant to Sign Bylaw.

On August 28, 2023, Council adopted Development Application Fees Bylaw No. 12552 which takes effect on January 1, 2024.



To learn more about the guiding principles and methodology that shaped the proposed Development Application Fees Bylaw No. 12552, please check out the FAQ's below.

When was the last time the Fee Bylaw was updated?

The last full comprehensive analysis of the Development Application Fee Bylaw was conducted in 2015 by Deloitte LLP, and prior to that in 2008 by Neilson-Welch. The previous fee bylaw was adopted in 2016 for the years 2017 – 2023, with annual increases equal to the CPI (Consumer Price Index for BC) increase.

What guiding principles were used to establish the proposed fees?
  • Fees should be primarily based on staff time processing applications.
  • Staff time varies for different types of applications and the fees should be scaled to reflect this.
  • Recovery rates should consider average file volumes for past years, as well as anticipated changes in file volumes due to regulatory changes at the municipal, provincial, and federal level.
  • There is a public benefit to the City’s review of development applications and therefore a 100% cost recovery is not appropriate. The proposed weighted recovery rate targets between 72%-75% overall.
  • A small-scale application should remain at a lower cost recovery rate so as not to make gentle urban densification cost-prohibitive.
  • A complex application that automatically requires a Public Information Session, a Traffic Impact Assessment, or additional inter-agency and inter-departmental referrals should have a higher cost recovery.
  • Fees should not be substantially more or less than other comparable municipalities.
  • An annual increase should remain built into the bylaw to ensure fees keep pace with increased costs and close the fee gap compared to other BC municipalities.
What methods were used to determine proposed fees?
  1. Reviewed amount of staff time per file type to account for changes in complexity and review time.
  2. Proposed a blended staff hourly rate based on Planners and Auxiliary Staff.
  3. Adjusted cost recovery to be lower for small-scaled files and greater for complex files.
  4. Adjusted cost recovery to anticipate changes in the volumes of specific application types due to regulatory changes.
  5. Created new categories of applications to scale fees.
  6. Rounded fees to nearest $5 or $10 increment.
  7. Used real development scenarios to compare proposed fees to existing 2023 fees to determine additional burden on the applicant and the end user.
  8. Used real development scenarios to compare proposed fees to five other BC Municipalities – Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, and Victoria.
What is new in the proposed Fee Bylaw?

We created several new categories of applications within Zoning, Development Variance Permits, Development Permits, Heritage, Administration, and Subdivision to scale the application fees more accurately to the complexity of the application. In general, fees across most file types will increase. Three categories that are typically applied for by an individual rather than a development company have been lowered including "c" subzone for a Carriage House, "cc" subzone for Child Care Centre Major, and Farm Residential Footprint Covenant.

The format of the bylaw has also been updated for ease of reading and accessibility of information.

Will there be a yearly increase?

Most municipalities base their yearly increases on the CPI (Consumer Price Index for BC) which is typically between 2% and 2.5%. In 2022, the CPI was 6.9%. We are proposing a flat yearly increase of 5% in order to be slightly higher than typical CPI to help close the gap between our fees and other municipality's fees. Setting a flat fee provides transparency to the community and can help you plan for your next project with certainty.

Yearly fee increases will take effect on January 1 of each year. We will advertise the new fees with a City of Kelowna Informational Bulletin that will be available on our website and posted at City Hall.

What municipalities did we compare our fees to?

We selected five other BC Municipalities – Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, and Victoria for comparison based on their rates of population growth and types of development applications. When we compared real life development scenarios which often involve multiple application types, Kelowna was consistently in the lower half of the municipalities we compared to.

Municipality Comparison

When will the fees take effect?

The new fees will take effect on January 1, 2024. 

Can I watch the Council meeting when the new bylaw was presented?

You can read the Council Report and watch the Council meeting on our website.

Item 4.4: PM Council Meeting - August 14, 2023