Development Permit Areas & Development Variance Permit

The Local Government Act of BC, Section 488, gives local governments the authority to designate Development Permit Areas (DPA) within an Official Community Plan. These DPAs may be created to establish building form and character or intensive residential development within a specific area. DPAs may also be created for protection of the natural environment, promote energy conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Each Development Permit Area has corresponding guidelines which are the guiding principles of all new development within each specific DPA. When a development is within a specific DPA (or within multiple DPAs) it is required that the development meet specific requirements prior to proceeding to a Building Permit.

The City of Duncan’s Official Community Plan has 6 designated Development Permit Areas as follows:

Development Permit Area DPA # Regulation Objective Development Permit Requirements
Multi-Family Residential DPA 1 Form and Character; Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Checklist
Downtown DPA 2 Form and Character; Revitalization; Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Checklist
Highway Corridor DPA 3 Form and Character; Revitalization; Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Checklist
Other Commercial Areas DPA 4 Form and Character; Revitalization; Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Checklist
Natural Environment DPA 5 Protection of the Natural Environment Checklist
Hazard Lands DPA 6 Protection of Development from Hazardous Conditions (i.e. floods) Checklist

In addition to the above DPAs the entire area within the City of Duncan is established as a Development Approval Information Area, which gives the City the authority to request additional information or requirements (above and beyond those of the DPA guidelines) to mitigate specific conditions or effects of development.

If you would like to know more or believe your project may require a Development Permit please contact the Development Services Department at developmentservices@duncan.ca or 250-746-6126, for guidance to help you navigate through the process.

As of February 1, 2021, all development permit applications must include a completed Site Disclosure Statement at the time of submission, or the application will be returned to the applicant as incomplete.


Development Variance Permit

A Development Variance Permit is a process by which a property owner or developer (authorized agent) may request to vary the provisions of a regulatory bylaw such as a Zoning Bylaw, Parking Bylaw, or Subdivision Bylaw.

Regulations are generally intended to shape development or the use of land but there are often situations where strict adherence to a bylaw makes the development unreasonably difficult or sometimes not possible. In these circumstances a Development Variance Permit application may be submitted and it is then at Council’s discretion whether or not to approve the application.

A Development Variance Permit cannot vary the use or density of land. The only way to change the use of land or increase density is by way of rezoning the property to another zone to accommodate the use.

If you would like to know more about the Development Variance Permit process please contact the Development Services Department at developmentservices@duncan.ca or 250-746-6126, for more information and guidance to help you navigate through the process.


Site Disclosure Statement

As of February 1, 2021, all development permit applications must include a completed Site Disclosure Statement at the time of submission, or the application will be returned to the applicant as incomplete.

Site Disclosure Statements are required by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (MoE) and the Environmental Management Act, as a way of identifying and reporting properties with past or present Schedule 2 industrial or commercial activities that may require site remediation. Schedule 2 activities are defined in the Contaminated Sites Regulation.

For more information, visit the MoE Site Identification webpage.

Site Disclosure Statement Form
Environmental Management Act, Contaminated Sites Regulation Schedule 2