In the case of a proponent wishing to develop land in their ownership, it is advised that they meet with the Building & Planning Department and/or Engineering Department to discuss their intents and determine how to move through the approval process.
The proponent may begin the process by identifying what form of land use they intend to develop their land for. All forms of land use must be approved in accordance with the allowed uses in the land-use zone that the subject lands fall within. If the zoning is such that the proposal cannot be approved, the zoning designation can be altered through a Zoning Bylaw Amendment of the Zoning Map, based on the requirements of Section 4.14 of the Zoning Bylaw 2018.3383.
Once the desired zoning designation of the property is in place to allow the proposed use, the development proposal process may continue. The rezoning process also typically must happen before subdivision as the zoning designation of the property affects the minimum allowable size of the subdivided lot.
If the boundaries of the subject lands need to be altered in any way, or if the land is going to be internally divided in terms of legal boundaries, the proponent will need to have a subdivision plan prepared and submitted to the City, meeting the requirements as outlined in land subdivision and consolidation, being based on the requirements of the Subdivision Regulations, 2014.
Offsite development levies will apply under Bylaw 2014.3320, unless enough of a credit from previous offsite development levy payments exists on the land to cover the costs of offsite servicing fees at current rates. The levy applies to newly subdivided area at a rate of $86,000 per net acre ($212,420 per net hectare) when applied at subdivision stage, and applies to the new or expanded floors area of new developments at a rate of $12.22/sq. ft. ($131.50/ sq. m.) when applied at the subdivision stage. In the case of bareland development where both subdivision and development approval is being sought, the levy is applied only at subdivision stage.
Plans must be submitted as to how the new development area will be serviced in terms of water, sewer and sanitary infrastructure and its access provided by legal roadways, as well as showing the design or materials used for the infrastructure. A number of standards must be met in their design, both meeting the requirements of local, provincial and national standards under acts and bylaws as well as of the particular design criteria choices of the City, such as that roads in new developments must provide paved access. The design standards of infrastructure and timing of its installation, as well as the calculation and timing of offsite development levy fees and payment, are typically agreed upon in Subdivision Servicing Agreement. Offsite development levies may alternatively be dealt with under a Development Levy Agreement.
Once the subject lands zoning designation and legal boundaries are set as desired, a development permit may be put forward for the approval of the land use and structures. This must be applied for in a manner meeting the requirements of Section 4.4 of the Zoning Bylaw 2018.3383, which includes the following information on the subject lands:
- Owner, applicant, agent, engineer, architect, tenant, or contractor in charge of the project;
- Civic address;
- Legal description (lot, block, registered plan number & subdivision where applicable);
- Signature on behalf of the owner; and
- Other details as specified on the development permit application.
The specifics of the approval process for the Development Permit, including whether or not the permit must be approved by City Council including public notification, depend on whether the desired use is a permitted or discretionary use within the zone that the subject lands fall under. See the permitted and discretionary uses listed for each different zone under Section 6.2 (for residential zones), Section 7 (for Commercial zones) and Section 8 (for industrial zones) to see what the desired land use falls under.
Below the permitted and discretionary use list for each zone is the development standards for that zone, which describe the specific standards that the development must meet in terms on minimum site area, minimum frontage, maximum F.A.R, the maximum height and the minimum setbacks at the front, rear and sides. If any of these standards cannot realistically be met by the development, they may be able to be reduced through a minor variance. A minor variance should be applied for prior to the approval of a development permit, to ensure that no neighbours oppose the bylaw relaxation and that the request can be accommodated before the development is approved.
Once the land use and development have been approved, the structural design of the development itself must receive approval under a building permit.