How land is managed in the City of Victoria has an impact on community vibrancy and how our neighbourhoods develop in the years ahead.
Development Services provides policy, regulation, and plan guidance to City Council, development applicants, and citizens regarding land and building development. Development applications involve City staff as well as Community Association Land Use Committees and Council and Council's standing and advisory committees.
The Zoning Bylaw regulates how a property can be used, what type and size of buildings may be constructed, the size of lots that can be created and required parking for vehicles and bicycles.
If your development plans fit within the zoning regulations you should consult with the Permits and Inspections division to determine what type of building permits will be required. You will also need to determine whether a Development Permit is needed or if you property has heritage value.
If your development plans do not fit within the zoning your options may include (see below for more details):
- Development Permit with Variances
- Board of Variance
- Development Variance Permit
Development Permit Areas
The Official Community Plan includes a number of Development Permit Areas which apply to the form and character of development for many commercial, industrial, multi-family, garden suite, small lot, duplex, and panhandle lot properties. If your property falls into one of these categories you may need a Development Permit before applying for a building permit. Click here for the Development Permit application.
Board of Variance and Development Variance Permits
The Board of Variance has the authority to grant minor variances from the building regulations specified in the Zoning Regulation Bylaw, but cannot vary use or density. For more information on the Board of Variance Click here for more information on the Board of Variance.
A Development Variance Permit can be granted by Council for similar purposes, but also for other Zoning Regulation Bylaw regulations including parking requirements. Click here for the Development Variance Permit application.
Where the development concept does not meet the use or density of the existing zoning, then a rezoning is required. The Official Community Plan, local and neighbourhood plans and other City policies or guidelines specify under what circumstances a rezoning may be appropriate. These documents should be consulted before you make a decision to apply for a rezoning. Click here for more information on the rezoning process and application form.
If you are rezoning, one of your first steps will be meeting with the neighbourhood Community Association Land Use Committee. Gaining community support is an important part of any development approval process.
Subdivision or Strata Titling
Subdivision or Strata Titling is sometimes part of the development process. For more information consult the Land Development Division in Engineering.
- Application Forms
- Growing Food and Gardening in Mixed-Use, Multi-Unit Residential Developments
- Official Community Plan
- Local Area and Neighbourhood Plans
- Planning Guidelines and Policies
- Garden Suites
- Secondary Suites
For your planned development you may also need to contact the following:
- Permits and Inspections for building, plumbing, electrical, demolition, sign and other permits
- Parks for Tree Alterations and Removal Permits
- Land Development Division in Engineering for transportation, streets and servicing issues
- Heritage Program