Looking for information on a development application?
If you notice a sign on a neighbourhood property about a development application, you can check out Council and Committee meeting calendar, minutes, agendas and more. You can type the property address into the SEARCH bar to find reports and documents relating to any development that requires Council's approval.
Details on development projects are available here. Alternatively, information is always available from Planning Department staff at the Municipal Hall.
Looking to submit a development application?
The District has created a new Development Application form, which can be used for all types of applications. This eliminates the need for multiple forms and provides a helpful checklist to assist you in submitting a complete application. Please review the applicable items with the planner prior to your submission. Specific details on each permit type can be found below.
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A property's zoning determines how the land can be used, what type and size of buildings may be constructed on it, and the size of lots that can be created. Any development of a property should conform with zoning regulations (along with off-street parking, landscaping and other regulations). The District's Land Use Bylaw contains the zoning regulations. To determine the zoning designation of your property, check out our interactive map and turn on the layer called Land Use.
Central Saanich Land Use Bylaw No.2072 regulates how land, buildings and other structures may be used and located on a property. The District is divided into areas or "zones" and each of these zones have particular designations, such as single family residential, multi-family, industrial or commercial. The following is regulated within these zones:
- use and density of land, buildings and other structures,
- siting, size and dimensions of buildings and other structures,
- location of uses on the land, and
- shape, dimensions and area of all parcels of land created by subdivision.
The Land Use Bylaw also contains provisions for
- on site parking, loading and screening,
- subdivision servicing and improvements to municipal rights-of-ways, and
- sign regulations.
Development and construction on your property should comply with the Land Use Bylaw. Check out details below for more information on what permits are required if your proposal doesn't meet the Land Use Bylaw, along with related planning permits such as Development Permits.
Under the Local Government Act section 875, an Official Community Plan (OCP) is a statement of objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management.
Proposed developments also need to comply with any provincial and federal regulations. Separate applications (through other authorities) may be required for provincial archeological sites, Agricultural Land Reserve, Federal water leases, Island Health etc.
It is also important for property owners to review any encumbrances (such as rights-of-way, covenants, easements, building schemes, etc.) registered on their land title as they may impact development.
A permit application(s) is required if a property owner wishes to change the type of land uses and buildings permitted on a property, redevelop a property, or subdivide. To find out what these permit types are and when these approvals are required, check out the links below.
"Rezoning" is the process to change from one zoning designation to another. A rezoning application is required when a development proposal seeks to change a zoning designation, land use, or density of a site. This can include items such as rezoning from a single family dwelling lot to a duplex lot; or changing commercial zones to allow different uses. Check out the interactive map (turn on the Land Use layer called Zoning) to confirm your property's zoning designation.
Along with a Rezoning application, you may also require an OCP Amendment application, a Development Permit, perhaps variances, and if creating new lots, a subdivision application as well. Please check out the appropriate links below. More details on the rezoning process is available from the Rezoning Procedure Guide.
An Official Community Plan (OCP) Amendment is required to change the long term designation for a subject property (see OCP map). If the zone that is proposed is not supported by the OCP, an OCP Amendment is required to change the designation. OCP amendment applications must always be accompanied by a rezoning application.
For more details on the OCP Amendment application process, requirements and fees, please check out the OCP Amendment Guide.
What is a Temporary Use Permit?
In Central Saanich, there are three variations of a Temporary Use Permit (or TUP) application that could be reviewed.
- Farm Camping within the Agricultural Land Reserve and the A-1 zone, as per Part 5, 38.(1)(4) of the Land Use Bylaw;
- Non-Adhering Residential Use or Non-Farm Use authorized by Agricultural Land Commission on property in the A-1 zone, as per Part 5, 38(1)(5)
- TUP for a non-permitted use in an area designated in the OCP as a temporary use permit area.
A recent change in the OCP includes a temporary use permit process for cannabis retail proposals. Core commercial areas in Saanichton and Brentwood, along with the arterial commercial zone along Keating Cross Road, have been designated as Temporary Use Permit areas for cannabis retail. Temporary Use Permit application are required for this use, and must demonstrate compliance with the guidelines established for cannabis retails. For more information on the TUP process, please connect with a planning staff member at 250-544-4209.
There are two options to vary land use regulations, such as proposed height, setbacks or parking requirements.
The Board of Variance can rule on minor variances to the Land Use Bylaw related to setbacks and height, however, their decision must be based on a hardship. If the variance is not considered minor, or not based on a hardship, Council could review a variance application, as a Development Variance Permit. Additional details about the application requirements can be found in the Board of Variance Guide or the Development Variance Permit Guide.
Variances may also be a part of your Rezoning or Development Permit application and would be processed concurrently.
A development permit is required when your project is to be located on a property designated in a Development Permit (DP) area. There are maps in the Official Community Plan which identify those parcels which are affected. This includes all Commercial, Industrial or Multi-family zone properties; land that abuts the shoreline; land with riparian areas (streams, ditches or watercourses); and, environmentally sensitive areas.
If you have determined that your property is located in a designated DP area, there are guides available which outline the permit requirements and process.
Subdivision is the process to create new, titled parcels of land. The land use bylaw regulates the minimum lot size and frontage requirements for a parcel based on the zoning designation. If the lots in a proposed subdivision meet the current zoning requirements for size and frontage, an application can be submitted to the approving officer for the subdivision to create two or more parcels.
Check out the Subdivision Guide for all the details.
A building permit can be applied for if all the zoning regulations are being met. There may be additional permits required for the site, such as tree removal, driveway permit, or even environmental development permit. For details on this and more, check out the Building & Site Improvements page.
Secondary suites are permitted in the residential zones, as long as they comply with the BC Building Code. Carriage houses are only permitted with a zoning amendment, authorized by Council.
For more details on these use, please check out the Residential Building Permits page.
Assuming your home, secondary suite or carriage house has been authorized with the appropriate permits, long term rental is considered as "residential" use and therefore permitted.
Short term, or temporary, is defined as accommodation for less than 15 consecutive days, and is not a permitted use in the residential zones. Temporary accommodation is only permitted in a zone (C-5 and C-6A) that allows "Travel Accommodation" which is more commonly referred to as hotel. This bulletin explains the regulations in more detail.
First step, is to check out the current zoning map and see what the designated land use is.
Secondly, once you know what your zone is (R-1, R-2, R-1M etc), refer to the Land Use Bylaw and find the details on that particular zone.
The zoning requirements indicate
- Minimum lot area and
- Minimum frontage
If you happen to have twice as much lot area and frontage than required for your zone, then you may be in position to create a second lot. There is still much to consider, such as condition and location of the current building, servicing costs and street frontage improvements. Check out the Subdivision Guide for more details.
It all starts with confirming your current zoning designation on the zoning map and finding the corresponding zone (R-1, R-2, R-1M etc), in the Land Use Bylaw. There are only a couple of zones that permit duplex, or Residential Two Family, construction. Have a look at
- Residential Two Family: R-2 zone
- Small Lot Two Family Residential: R-2S zone
If your property is in one of these zones, check out the details of the regulations to see if you can comply.
The best way to find out what is going on in your community is by checking out Central Saanich's Council Meetings. You can view the Council and Committee meeting calendar, minutes, agendas and more. You can type the property address into the SEARCH bar to find reports and documents relating to any development that requires Council's approval.
For those properties where a rezoning application is currently being processed, specific details are available here. Alternatively, information is always available from planning staff at the municipal hall.
The many ways to share your support, feedback or concerns about a development with Council are listed on our Connect with Council page. Specific to a rezoning application, the Public Hearing is the most opportune time to have your voice heard; to find the date, please keep an eye on the property for signage, the meeting schedule or the Current Rezoning Applications page.