Development Planning & Applications

Preparing to Submit a Land Use & Development Application

Prior to submitting any development application(s), please contact the Planning & Development Services Department to arrange a pre-application meeting to discuss your proposal, identify what applications may be required and answer any questions you may have. The development application process is based on professional evaluation; submitting an development application does not automatically guarantee approval of your proposal.

Your application will be processed in accordance with Planning Procedures Bylaw, 2009 No. 1869, which includes an application fee schedule. Additional information, including professional reports prepared at the applicant's cost, may be required.

Please click one of the following links for further information on one of the following development application types:

Zoning Amendment (Rezoning)

Zoning is a tool used by municipalities to regulate the use, density, siting, size, dimensions, shape and area of land, buildings and other structures. Each property within the City of White Rock has been assigned a zone in accordance with the White Rock Zoning Bylaw, 2012, No. 2000 as amended.

Rezoning is the process of legally changing the zone and associated land uses of a property. A Zoning Amendment can change the zoning of a property (or properties) from one designation to another; create a site-specific comprehensive development zone for complex developments and/or amended or release a land use contract.

If the use you are proposing for your development is not permitted under the current zoning bylaw you will have to apply for a Zoning Amendment for that property.

Guide to the Zoning Amendment Process

Guide to Public Information Meetings

Land Use & Development Application Form

Official Community Plan Amendment

The White Rock Official Community Plan (OCP) is a statement of objectives and policies that guides decisions on planning and land use management in the City. Local governments within British Columbia are authorized to adopt an OCP in accordance with the Local Government Act.  Once an OCP has been adopted, all bylaws enacted by the municipality must be consistent with the plan. The City of White Rock Official Community Plan was adopted in 2008 and assigns each property in the city a land use designation. These designations are intended to guide future land use decisions within the City of White Rock.

An OCP Amendment is the process of legally changing a land use designation, policy or other aspect of the Official Community Plan. An OCP Amendment may be required in conjunction with a Zoning Amendment.

If the use you are proposing for your development is not permitted under the current OCP, you will have to apply for an OCP Amendment for that property.

Guide to Public Information Meetings

Land Use & Development Application Form

Development Permit (Major & Minor)

A Development Permit is a statutory tool which may be used by municipalities to exercise discretionary control over certain types of development. The City of White Rock is divided into nine (9) Development Permit Areas. A map showing these areas and the Development Permit Guidelines for each area are contained in the City's Official Community Plan. Please note that the Planning Procedures Bylaw, 2009, No. 1869 provides further distinction between a Major Development Permit and a Minor Development Permits, as further described below:

Major Development Permits

Major Development Permits are approved by Council and are established for:

  • Revitalization of a commercial area where commercial use is permitted;
  • Form and character objectives for intensive residential use;
  • Form and character objectives for multi-family residential development (excluding duplexes); and
  • Any permit request which includes a variance to any provision of a bylaw (LGA, Part 14).

In the designated Development Permit Areas, a Development Permit must be obtained prior to subdivision or construction/addition/alteration of any building or structure on the property. The following are exempt from the Development Permit approval process:

  • Renovation/alteration concerning less than 20% of the façade of an existing building;
  • Renovation/alteration to an existing building increasing the improvement value by less than 30%;
  • An addition, exclusive of other renovations/alterations/demolitions, of less than 55m² (592ft²);
  • Applications for signs only.

Guide to the Major Development Permit Process

Guide to Public Information Meetings

Guide to Advisory Design Panel Submissions

Land Use & Development Application Form

Minor Development Permits

Minor Development Permits are approved by the City Manager, conform to the development permit guidelines, do not require any variances, and are established for:

  • Natural resource & environmental preservation, and protection from hazardous conditions;
  • Form and character objectives for multi-family residential development (duplexes only); or
  • Revitalization of a commercial area for minor façade improvements and/or signage only.

In the designated Development Permit Areas, a Development Permit must be obtained prior to subdivision or construction/addition/alteration of any building or structure on the property.

Notwithstanding the above, the following are exempt from the Development Permit approval process:

  • Renovation/alteration concerning less than 20% of the façade of an existing building;
  • Renovation/alteration to an existing building increasing the improvement value by less than 30%;
  • An addition, exclusive of other renovations/alterations/demolitions, of less than 55m² (592ft²);Applications for signs only.

Guide to the Minor Development Permit Process

Guide to Advisory Design Panel Submissions

Land Use & Development Application Form

Subdivision

Subdivision is the legal mechanism used to create new parcels of land. The subdivision of a property or properties may include the creation of new fee-simple or strata lots as well as lot line adjustments which do not create any new lots.

The Land Title Act gives the power to regulate the subdivision of land to municipalities through a Municipal Approving Officer. The Approving Officer ensures each subdivision is evaluated with respect to the following:

  • Provincial statutes;
  • Various City bylaws policies, including (but not limited to) the City's Official Community Plan, Zoning Bylaw, and Subdivision Bylaw;
  • Public safety;
  • Floodplain construction requirements;
  • Necessary utilities, services and access/egress;
  • Environmental sensitivity; and
  • Community compatibility.

Guide to the Subdivision Process

Land Use & Development Application Form

Development Variance Permit

A Development Variance Permit (DVP) is a statutory tool which may be used by municipalities to vary the provisions of a bylaw authorized under Part 14 of the Local Government Act. A DVP may not however vary the following:

  • The use or density of land;
  • A floodplain specification; or
  • A Phased Development Agreement

Guide to the DVP Process

Land Use & Development Application Form

Board of Variance Application

A Board of Variance is an independent decision making body with limited powers, established in accordance with Part 14 of the Local Government Act. Boards of Variance can grant minor variances to Zoning Bylaw and other rulings as set out in the Act. The variance must be justified by the presence of “undue hardship”, as determined by the Board.

For Board of Variance Application information, please see the Board of Variance Committee page of the website.

Tree Management Permit

A Tree Management Permit is a tool used by municipalities to regulate the cutting and/or removal of trees on private property in accordance with the Tree Management Bylaw, 2008, No. 1831.

For more information on Tree Management Permits, please see the Private Trees section of the Tree Management page of the website.

Sign Permit

The White Rock Sign Bylaw, 2010, No. 1923, regulates the type, placement, maintenance and repair of signs within the City. The goals of the Sign Bylaw are to:

  • Reflect the aesthetic standards and enhance the appearance and unique identity of the City;
  • Support the viability of local businesses by providing sufficient advertising opportunity;
  • Ensure that signage does not compromise pedestrian and traffic safety; and
  • Enable fair and consistent enforcement of sign regulations.

A sign permit is required for all new permanent signs, temporary signs including sandwich boards and promotional banners and the re-facing of existing signs.

Guide to the Sign Bylaw

Signage Application Form

Other Types of Applications

Please note that the City processes other types of development applications that are not discussed here, such as Liquor License Referral Applications, Temporary Use Permits, Strata Conversion Applications, and Building Strata Amendments.

For further information regarding submission and procedural requirements for these types of applications, please contact the City's Planning and Development Services Department.