Development permits - urban design

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If you’re proposing a development for a multiple unit residential (3+ units), commercial, industrial, or mixed-use project, an urban design development permit is likely required. The urban design development permit process evaluates your proposal’s alignment with our urban design guidelines, which are listed in Chapter 18 of the Official Community Plan. The goal of our urban design guidelines is to clearly outline the form and character objectives that new developments should meet.

Read this overview on the development process

Specifically, the urban design guidelines are used to guide the following aspects of development proposals:

  • Landscaping
  • Building siting and layout
  • Exterior design
  • Building finishes
  • Sensitivity to existing context
  • Accessibility
  • Lighting
  • Privacy
  • Neighbourhood context
  • Building massing
  • Crime prevention through environmental design
  • Parking
  • Payment in Lieu of Parking Bulletin

If an urban design development permit is required for your proposal, you will need to submit a standard development application package and all associated documents to the Development Planning Department. Depending on the scale of your project, it may be processed by City staff or may need to go to Council for approval. Please see Development Application and Heritage Procedures Bylaw No. 12310 for more information.

Once your application has been made, you will be assigned a file manager who will evaluate your application against applicable urban design guidelines and make a recommendation of support or non-support for the permit. Several design revisions may be necessary.