Development Permits

Commercial, industrial and multi-family residential (duplex, townhouses, rowhouses, apartments) development are designated as Development Permit Areas (DPA) in the Official Community Plan for the purposes of regulating the form and character of buildings, structures and landscaping.

The Development Permit may address exterior design, landscaping, siting, building finishes and colours and certain regulations in the Zoning Parking and Development Management and Subdivision Servicing bylaws may be varied or supplemented in accordance with the DPA guidelines.

Development Permits are required for new buildings and significant façade improvements and additions. DPs may not be required exterior alterations or additions to existing buildings that do not significantly alter the appearance of the building and do not exceed $50,000.  Please contact the Planning Division to confirm if your proposed development may qualify for this exemption.

Other application processes

Other application processes – such as Official Community Plan amendment, rezoning or subdivision applications – may run concurrently, but separate applications are required for each process.

Get Started

  • Access the Official Community Plan (OCP) for policies, land use designation and development permit areas. Visit PoCoMAP to view the current OCP designation of a property. If applicable to your project, consult the City’s information on Official Community Plan amendments.
  • Find out the property’s zoning using PoCoMAP or the Zoning Maps in the Planning Division, and check the Zoning Bylaw for zoning requirements and regulations that apply to your property, including such supplemental regulations as recycling facilities and specifications and bicycle facilities. Certain regulations in the zoning bylaws may be varied or supplemented through the Development Permit or Development Variance Permit process. Land use and density cannot be varied and a rezoning application will be required.
  • If applicable to your project, consult the City’s information on Development Variance Permits and small lot development.
  • If your development is within 50 meters of a watercourse, consult the Watercourse Development Permits page.
  • Review the Parking and Development Management Bylaw to determine parking and loading requirements.
  • Please consult other documents including the Community Charter; Local Government Act; Land Title Act; Strata Property Act; City bylaws (such as the Subdivision Servicing Bylaw, Tree Bylaw, and Soil Removal and Deposit Bylaw) and other municipal legislation and policies as may be applicable for specific requirements.
  • If you are building a new structure or making significant upgrades, consult the Build or Renovate a Structure page.
  • Review the Heritage Resource Inventory (2013) to see if the subject property has been identified as having potential heritage significance. Consult the Heritage page to learn more about the City’s heritage policies and programs.
  • Consider employing professionals familiar with the Development Permit process (such as architects or landscape architects) to assist in the application process.
Neighbourhood consultation

Before submitting your application, you may wish to take steps to speak to the property owners adjacent to the proposed development. This is an opportunity to introduce the proposal, seek input and address neighbour concerns early in the process.

Density bonus

The City has a density bonus policy (pdf) allows developers to build to an increased density in exchange for a defined amenity contribution.

Preliminary meeting

Planning staff are available to discuss the proposal and how it addresses community goals and objectives. Staff will also provide advice to ensure a comprehensive application, including public consultation requirements and appropriate terms of reference for required consultant studies.

Bring information such as a site plan, development concept and photos of the site and surrounding areas to the meeting.

Application Process

Submit a complete Development Permit application including fees (see below). Please consult the application checklist attached to the application form for a detailed list of requirements. Staff are only able to accept complete applications.

Development sign

A development sign must be posted on the property within 30 days of application. The sign must be four feet by eight feet and placed in a highly visible area facing the street (two signs for large corner or through properties).

Applicants must submit a photograph of the sign(s) to the File Manager when the sign is posted and again when the date for the public hearing has been added. The sign(s) must be removed following a decision on the application.

Please refer to the Development Sign Specifications for detailed requirements.


There is no defined timeframe to obtain a decision in a Development Permit process. The time depends on the complexity of the policy issues, comprehensiveness of the application, time to respond to identified issues, public consultation process and timing of Committee meetings.

The City has a policy to expedite or fast-track certain applications. For example, projects that are non-profit social housing, include a green roof in accordance with Zoning Bylaw regulations or improve the façade of an existing building in commercial areas may be eligible for fast-tracking.

Fees, Charges, and Security/Deposit

All application fees are outlined in Schedule D of the Fees and Charges Bylaw.

There may be legal costs associated with your  DP application. Restrictive covenants, statutory right-of-ways or other legal agreements and documents may be required.

Development Cost Charges are applicable at the time of Building Permit.

Approval Process

The appointed Planning File Manager will circulate the application to staff in other departments and any other applicable outside agencies. The primary contact will be notified about any requests for information or revisions. Enquiries about the status of the application should be directed to the Planning File Manager.

If a development permit application does not comply with submission requirements or if additional information is required for its assessment, a written response from the Planning File Manager will be provided listing resubmission requirements.

Resubmissions which fully address all identified issues and information requirements will proceed in a timely manner through the application review process. All materials responding to resubmission requirements must be provided by the applicant in one comprehensive resubmission to the File Manager unless otherwise stipulated by the File Manager

Public Consultation

Consultation with neighbours, local residents and any other who may be affected by the proposal is strongly encouraged prior to and throughout the application process.  This enables the applicant to convey their development vision to the surrounding neighbours, receive input and adjust the proposal to meet community objectives. Holding a neighbourhood information meeting should be raised with staff early in the application review process.

If a DP involves significant variance to Zoning Bylaw regulations and, in the opinion of the Smart Growth Committee (SGC), would benefit from a formal opportunity for public input, then a Public Meeting may be required prior to a decision on an application.  An additional fee would be required to cover the advertising costs involved in such consideration.

Please see the Public Information Meeting Checklist for further information.

Committee of Council

Once submission requirements are addressed, a staff report will be forwarded to the Committee of Council (SGC) for consideration of the proposal. SGC normally meets twice a month and applicants are encouraged to attend the meeting relevant to their application. SGC may approved the DP, request further information, call for public input prior to a decision, reject the application or forward the application to Council for a decision.

Development Permit (DP) Registration

If SGC approves the development proposal, staff will prepare the development permit (DP) and Notice of Permit for signatures and registration at the Land Titles Office. A lawyer or notary may register the signed notice of permit and DP within one year of the date of approval. The Building Permit must be issued and the project substantially under construction within two years of the date of DP approval.

Landscape Security

Prior to issuing a building permit, the City requires a landscape security to ensure the project complies with the approved DP landscape drawings in a timely manner.  Please refer to the Landscape Plan Requirements for detailed guidelines.

The landscape security, typically a Letter of Credit, is equal to 110% of the landscape estimate provided by the applicant. This amount is defined in the development permit documents. Please note that if you are building a duplex the landscape security deposit is $5000, not 110% of the landscape estimate.

Upon completion of the landscaping, the applicant may request an inspection and will be refunded 100% of the deposit if the landscaping is found to be complete.


Planning Division
Tel 604.927.5442

Building Division
Tel 604.927.5444

Engineering & Public Works
Tel 604.927.5420

Location and Mailing Address

City Hall Annex (Above the Bank of Montreal, 200-2564 Shaughnessy St, Port Coquitlam, BC, V3C 3G4

Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)