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To understand whether your project requires a planning application, get in touch with a member of the Planning & Development Services department by phone at 250-334-6006 or online.
Development Permits are generally required to either ensure the protection of the natural environment from development, protect development from hazardous conditions or ensure a consistent approach to the form and character of certain developments. There are a number of different types of development permits. To learn more about development permits review Part 4 of the Rural Comox Valley Official Community Plan.
A Development Variance Permit (DVP) can vary the Zoning Bylaw as it pertains to a specific property so long as it does not vary anything to do with the use of the land or its allowed density. Common variances sought include: reducing setback requirements (i.e. minimum distance from the property line to a building wall), increasing the maximum allowable accessory building floor area and increasing the lot coverage requirement.
The first step is to obtain a planning application and provide the required information. You may also require an Environmentally Sensitive Area Development Permit if your proposed construction is near or adjacent to fish-bearing watercourses, the ocean, eagle nests or great blue heron rookeries. Consult with Planning Services staff to determine if you need this kind of permit. You may need a development permit if your land is a commercial/industrial property or located near steep slopes or hazard areas.
Once your planning referral application and any required development permits have been approved by Planning Services, you may then apply for a building permit.
In all three electoral areas of the Comox Valley Regional District, properties within 30 metres of fish-bearing watercourses (including lakes, streams, oceans, etc.), 200 metres of an eagle nest tree or 300 metres of a great blue heron colony are subject to the requirements of an Environmentally Sensitive Area Development Permit.
This ensures environmentally sensitive areas aren’t threatened or disturbed by potential development activities. The permit places conditions around developments, such as restricting development from occurring during the breeding season of eagles and herons. Check out the “Sensitive Habitat Atlas” layer on iMap, and contact us if you have any questions.
The Comox Valley Regional District does not issue business licences such as a municipality would. If you require, in writing, for insurance or other purposes, confirmation that you’re permitted to operate a business from the property, you may need a “confirmation letter.”