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 are established where there are natural hazardous conditions, to protect the environment or to regulate the form and character of commercial development. DP applications require a fee, supporting information such as a professional geotechnical report and referral to the local advisory planning commission before the Regional District Board makes a decision.
Please contact the Planning & Development Division for more information before submitting an application. Note: A Contaminated Sites Notice and Schedule needs to be completed if you know that the site has been used for industrial or commercial purposes.
Geotechnical Hazard Development Permits
All Development Permits within a geotechnical hazard areas must include a report completed by a qualified geotechnical engineer. The assessment report on the proposed development is required that meets the SCRD's Geo-Hazard Acceptability in Development Approval Policy prior to the SCRD issuing a Development Permit:
- For seismic and flood hazards, the SCRD requires a development to meet the following standards corresponding to the type and size of the development:
|Development Type and Size||Seismic Event||Creek Flooding||Ocean Flooding|
Restoration and Small Addition:
Restoration includes repair of a damaged structure or rebuilding of a structure within its existing location and spatial limits. Small addition includes an attached expansion to an existing building or a detached additional building with total gross floor area not exceeding 25% of the existing building or 60 m2, whichever is lesser.
|8% in 50 years||1 in 50 years||Anticipated sea level in 20 years|
Construction of new buildings with total gross floor area between 60 m2 and 500 m2, lot line adjustments, but excluding subdivisions.
|4% in 50 years||1 in 100 years||Anticipated sea level in 60 years|
Large Development or Subdivision:
New buildings with a total gross floor area exceeding 500 m2, or subdivision creating one or more additional lots.
|2% in 50 years||1 in 200 years||Anticipated sea level in 100 years|
For landslides, the SCRD requires that the qualified professional’s report include a completed Appendix D: Landslide Assessment Assurance Statement
The SCRD requires the qualified professional’s report to state that the site is safe for the use intended and specify what conditions are required to ensure the site will be safe.
For all development approvals involving geo-hazards, the SCRD requires the property owner to register a “save harmless” covenant on title of the property indemnifying the SCRD and its elected and appointed officials from all geo-hazard liabilities or losses that may result from approval of the development application and accepting all geo-hazard risks, despite all required standards having been met and all reasonable avoidance and protective measures having been undertaken.
For all hazards including localized hazards such as debris flow and rock fall, the
qualified professional must:
- describe the method of hazard or risk analysis used;
- refer to appropriate provincial, national or international guidelines or benchmarks for the level of safety;
- compare the guidelines with findings of his/her own investigation;
- make a finding on the level of safety on the property based on the comparison;
- make recommendations on design standards based on the comparison, the scale of the development and SCRD requirements in Policy 1.4;
- make recommendations to reduce hazards and risks such as siting requirements to avoid the hazards, requirements for protective work; and
- report on the requirements for future inspections of the property and recommend who should conduct those inspections.
This is a summary provided for convenience only. Please refer to the complete policy here.
Riparian Development Permits
All Development Permits within a Riparian Assessment Area must include a report completed by a qualified environmental professional, who follow the provincial Riparian Areas Regulation. The report must include support for the proposed development prior to the SCRD issuing a Development Permit.