Getting started: Submit a preliminary application

The first step in developing a property is to complete a preliminary application. This is a simple form with minimal submission requirements.

The preliminary application allows you to:

  • find out if your project is feasible before you invest money on professional plans
  • get early input from the public

The preliminary application allows us to:

  • identify if there are any key issues you'll need to address
  • make sure that your project fits in with the vision of development for the future

Permit applications during the COVID-19 pandemic

While many facilities are closed or have reduced service, including District Hall, you can still access many permit services online, by phone, or by special appointment.

Requirements for your preliminary application

Planning to renovate or build an addition to a heritage building?

Our staff works with the Community Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) to review development applications for sites with a heritage component.

If you are planning construction work on a heritage building, this guide will help you prepare information for the committee as part of your application.

Download the heritage development review guide

Find out if your building is on the heritage registry

Before you start preparing a preliminary application, contact the Development Planning department to discuss your project. They can help you understand the application process, and answer any questions you have.

What happens next?

After you submit your preliminary planning documents:

  • Your application is reviewed by all relevant District departments, who will comment on policy issues and identify design criteria
  • Your application is circulated for public input
  • You get early public input, in accordance with our policy. If your proposal requires rezoning, we will encourage you to present your preliminary concept to the local Community Association for early public feedback
  • Your proposal may be reviewed by our Advisory Design Panel at this stage

We will then consolidate all of the comments and feedback into a summary letter. This letter will outline all District requirements and community issues.

You will also be informed of the type of detailed applications we require, which can include:

You can then decide if you want to proceed with a detailed application.

How long does it take?

The time to process a preliminary application varies depending on the complexity of the proposal, and the volume of applications we have received. A typical timeline would range from one to eight months.

Learn about zoning and land use requirements

Our zoning, development permit area, and other guidelines help guide growth and development in the District, ensuring it is done in a sensitive and coordinated manner.

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