Development Services, Subdivisions & Rezoning

Developing land means planning to alter the land in some way. The most common method of land development involves dividing a larger parcel of land into separate plots for commercial, residential or rural purposes. In most communities, this is an extensive and lengthy process, since you must adhere to uniformity codes and ordinances. If you’re considering the development of land, you should you know what to expect and how to overcome common hurdles.

-Pick up a copy of your community’s subdivision and development regulations that pertain to the area where you want to develop. This is usually a substantial book or binder that contains all the current regulations, voted on by the municipality or city.

-Get your name on the agenda at your local muni / city meeting. Approval to develop land usually rests with a development permit committee.

-Present your preliminary idea to the land development division for feedback. This is an important first step, since the land development division housing and business needs will influence the likelihood of approval. In addition, the commissioners can offer suggestions that will save you time and money. Alternately, call one or more commissioners at home for advice.

-Study the land development regulations and design your project with adherence to as many rules as possible. Watershed issues are usually a top priority, as well as compliance with adequate utility provisions and sewage assessment.

-Develop a monetary budget of costs to develop the land. Before your project receives approval, numerous professional entities may contribute to the process. A survey crew will make a study of the current land topography, and an architectural firm will render a proposed plat (a plan for a piece of land with actual or proposed features), featuring all the elements of the finished development. These services are very expensive.

-Consult the local departments about participating in a portion of the development costs. This is a common method to make land development more affordable. The board may assist in the construction of roadways and drainage and in return will assess a special tax to recoup its investment. In a residential subdivision, new homeowners would pay a set amount, included in their property taxes, each year.

-Take your final proposal to the appropriate board for approval. If you’ve worked with them throughout the process, you have a better chance of success. By the time you reach this point, you’ve invested a lot of time and money in the project. Present it with confidence and enthusiasm.

-Get started on the physical phase of your land development. Once you receive approval, you may begin installing roads, utilities and drainage systems. If your project is large, consider hiring a project manager to oversee contractors and ensure compliance with ordinances.

Subdivision Applications

Typically a preliminary application is received by the City’s Approving Officer for any subdivision of land or boundary adjustment in Great Victoria. Prior to submitting a preliminary application, it is important to contact City Zoning staff with regards to any subdivision of property to ensure compliance to existing Zoning Regulations.

You may need to seek Council approval for your proposed subdivision if your proposal requires an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw. This will need to be completed before the City’s Approving Officer can issue a formal response.

A preliminary site service plan will be required as part of your application to subdivide, as you will need to confirm that your property can be fully serviced.

A Site Profile, under the BC Waste Management Act, shall be completed and submitted with your proposed subdivision application. This Site Profile identifies whether the land (s) have been used for industrial and commercial purposes or has had fuel storage buried within the land(s).

Development Permits and Rezoning Applications

The Land Development Division of the Engineering Department coordinates the review of Development, Development Variance Permit and Rezoning Applications.

At these stages, an engineering review for general servicing requirements will be required. The divisions within the Engineering Department will identify items which will be required as part of a building permit.

  • Reviews and identifies existing service main locations.
  • Identifes the need for Statutory Rights of Way for services, road and access.
  • Reviews existing and proposed conditions as they relate to engineering, land use, density site services, traffic safety, form and function.
  • Provides additional information and engineering requirements to the applicant related to future stages of the project (Development and Building permit requirements).

Residential Properties, Commercial Properties, Multi-Family Properties, all you land development needs.


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