Development Permit Areas

What is a development permit area?

A development permit area (DPA) is an important tool used in the development process to protect the natural environment, to protect development from hazardous conditions, to guide the form and character of development, to promote energy or water conservation, or to promote reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A map in the OCP indicates where the DPA is designated and text of the DPA indicates for what types of development a permit is required. The text of the DPA also describes its objectives, special conditions that justify the designation and guidelines respecting the manner by which the objectives or special conditions will be addressed. In an area where a DPA is designated, a development permit must first be obtained prior to certain types of development such as subdivision, construction, or land alteration. Some DPA guidelines require a report from a professional such as a biologist or engineer, or other supporting information. The permit itself includes conditions that must be adhered to during or after development.

Where are development permit areas in the RDN?

The RDN designates development permit areas (DPAs) in its seven official community plans (OCPs) for a variety of purposes as enabled by the Local Government Act. In an area where a DPA is designated, a development permit must first be obtained prior to certain types of development such as subdivision, construction, or land alteration. A map in the OCP indicates where the DPA is designated and text of the DPA indicates for what types of development a permit is required.

Why should the development permit area guidelines be standardized?

In the RDN, there are currently forty-nine development permit areas in seven official community plans adopted between 1997 and 2017. Due to changes to best practices, experience of working with existing DPAs and changes in the region, the DPA guidelines established for the same purpose vary from one area to another. Standardizing DPAs will ensure today's best practices are adopted throughout the electoral areas which will result in consistent requirements for applicants and a more effective means of implementing the DPAs.

Will any development permit areas be expanded into areas they do not currently apply?

No. The scope of this project is limited to standardizing the guidelines of development permit areas (DPAs) that already exist. For example, there is currently a DPA for the marine coast in Electoral Areas A, G, and H but not in E. The Marine Coast DPA will not be extended into Electoral Area E, but the guidelines for the areas where it already applies will be standardized. Changing where a DPA is designated can be considered in a different project, most likely when an official community plan is being reviewed for a specific electoral area. 

Temporary Use Permits

What is a temporary use permit?

A temporary use permit (TUP) can be issued by a local government to allow a use not permitted by zoning, specify conditions of that temporary use, and allow and regulate the construction of buildings or structure for the temporary use. A TUP may be issued for up to three years and can be renewed.

Where can temporary use permits currently be issued in the RDN electoral areas and for what uses?

Temporary Use Permits (TUPs) can be issued in all electoral areas, but individual OCPs designate specific areas for them. Individual OCPs also designate what types of uses can be issued in a TUP. In Electoral Areas A, G and H, TUPs can be issued in any area, for any use, subject to performance criteria. In Electoral Areas C and E, TUPs can be issued in limited areas for limited industrial or commercial uses. In Electoral Area F, TUPs can be issued for limited industrial or commercial uses in some areas, and for any use in other specified areas.

What is the benefit of a temporary use permit?

In the RDN electoral areas citizens and the business community often ask for more flexible land use regulations to promote entrepreneurism and stimulate the economy. The ability to issue temporary use permits can allow for flexibility in the zoning regulations, but on a temporary basis and with conditions aimed at addressing potential negative impacts on the community, the neighbourhood, or the environment.

What kind of information would have to be provided before a temporary use permit would be issued?

An official community plan can include conditions under which a temporary use permit (TUP) could be issued. In other words, the applicant would have to demonstrate that they can meet conditions such as how they would mitigate any impact of noise, light or odour in the nieghbourhood. Other information that could be required may include impact on local road network, impact on natural environment, suitability of the location, reclamation plan for after the temporary use is no longer operating, visual integrity of the use, and others. If the conditions cannot be adequately met the TUP would not be issued.

Why should temporary use permit areas be standardized?

All seven OCPs designate TUP areas but vary in terminology, uses and conditions. Standardizing TUP areas will ensure today's best practices are adopted throughout the electoral areas which will result in consistent requirements for applicants and more flexible opportunities for economic development. While this means expanding where and for what type of use a TUP can be issued for some electoral areas, when this is combined with a thorough set of conditions that must be met, potential negative impacts the community, neighbourhood or environment can be addressed.