The planning team at the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is here to help with your planning application process. Below is an overview of the process, and information on how to get started. All planning and development applications within the CVRD are subject to the Comox Valley Regional District Planning Procedures and Fees Bylaw No. 328. Before submitting a planning application, we strongly encourage CVRD residents to contact the K'ómoks First Nation administrative office to discuss the possible need to acquire a Cultural Heritage Investigation Permit (CHIP) prior to starting any development or site works. The office can be reached at 250-339-4545 (extension 112 or ask to speak to Candace Newman).
Step 1: Pre-Application Consultation
Prior to submitting an application, some property owners may be required to attend a meeting with Planning Services. This meeting is required for the following planning applications:
- Rezoning Applications
- Rural Comox Valley Official Community Plan Amendments
- Commercial and Industrial Development Permits
- Temporary Use Permits
To set up a meeting, complete the Pre-Application Consultation Request Form and submit it online on the Planning Application Submission page or in person to the CVRD office at 770 Harmston Avenue in Courtenay.
An applicant will be contacted within five business days to schedule a meeting after the submission of a pre-application consultation meeting request form.
If you are applying for any other Development Permit, or a Development Variance Permit, Board of Variance appeal, Home Occupation Permit, or Property Information Request, it is helpful to discuss your proposal with a planner first but you do not need to arrange a pre-application consultation meeting.
Step 2: Gather Required Documents
All planning applications require submission of:
- Completed application form.
- Applicable fees: see table below
- Land title: CVRD staff will pull the land title
- Site plan: an applicant can either create a site plan themselves or hire a surveyor or other professional to create one. While the CVRD does not refer applicants to specific consultancies or firms, there are many throughout the Comox Valley that can assist with this type of work.
Some applications require additional reports/studies/information to help Planning Services evaluate the impact of a proposal. Specifically, Zoning Bylaw Amendments, Development Permits and Temporary Use Permits may require development approval information (i.e. additional studies/information). The Development Approval Information Bylaw No. 369 outlines descriptions of these studies and the information required by the CVRD.
To find out more about each type of application.
Step 3: Submit Application & Fee
There are two options to submit a planning application:
- Online: Submit all documents and reports here and a planner will contact the applicant for credit card payment over the phone, or to request further information.
- In person: Submit all documents and reports to the CVRD office at 770 Harmston Avenue in Courtenay. Payment can be made via cash, cheque, debit, or credit card.
- Pre-Application Consultation Request Form (Required for official community plan amendments, industrial and commercial development permits, temporary use permits and rezoning applications.)
- Planning Application (Required for all applications)
- Supplemental Form for Home Occupation, Domestic Business and Domestic Industrial Use (Required for proposed home occupation (including bed and breakfast), domestic business or domestic industrial use)
Type of Application Fees Bylaw Amendment: Rezoning $2,000 - $3,000 Development Permit: Aquatic & Riparian Habitat $300 Development Permit: Eagle Nest $300 Development Permit: Heron Nest $300 Development Permit: Shoreline Protection Device $400 Development Permit: Steep Slopes $400 Development Permit: Commercial & Industrial Uses $1,000 + variable fees Development Permit: Farmland Protection $400 Development Permit: Union Bay Tourism Highway Commercial $400 - $1,000 + variable fees Development Permit: Kensington Comprehensive Development $400 - $1,000 + variable fees Development Variance Permit $500 Board of Variance $500 Temporary Use Permit $750 - $1,500 Home Occupation $150 Amendment to the Floodplain $600
Learn more about planning application fees in Schedule ‘B’ of the Planning Procedures and Fees Bylaw No. 328.
Step 1: Planning Application Review
Once the application is received and determined to be complete, it will be processed according to the processes outlined in the Comox Valley Regional District Planning Procedures and Fees Bylaw No. 328.
All planning applications are reviewed by Planning Services staff and approval decisions are made by the CVRD Board of Directors, with the exception of several development permits that the Board delegates to CVRD officers, including:
- Aquatic and Riparian Habitat
- Eagle Nest
- Blue Heron Nest
- Soft Shoreline Protection Devices
- Steep Slopes
This process is outlined in the Development Permit Delegation – Bylaw No. 2365.
The following diagram shows the standard process for a development permit application, from submission to final decision. Please note that this is intended as a general guideline and is subject to change. Further, the process is different for each type of application. More information and additional process illustrations can be found in the Planning Procedures and Fees Bylaw No. 328.
Step 2: Planning Application Decision
Applicants will be notified regarding the final status of their application by phone or email – whichever method is preferred. If the application is approved, the applicant can proceed to the building permit stage. If the application is denied, the applicant may speak to a planner to discuss potential alternatives.
The following are general timelines for processing planning applications. Please note that these timelines begin once an application has been received and determined to be complete (including all professional reports), and that they are subject to change.
- Rezoning: Up to 12 months
- Development Permits (General Manager approval): 6-8 weeks
- Development Permits (CVRD Board approval): 3 months
- Development Variance Permit: 3 months
- Exemption from the Floodplain Bylaw: 3-4 months
- Temporary Use Permit: 5-6 months
- Home Occupation: 2-4 weeks
Planning application timelines vary, depending on the type of application. See general timelines above or get in touch with a member of the Planning & Development Services department by phone at 250-334-6006 or online to find out more.
When an application is made, a title search of the property is required to determine if there are any covenants, restrictive covenants, easements, rights-of-ways or other documents registered against the title, which may prohibit construction on the property or on certain areas of the property. All application fees include a title search; however, obtaining any additional documents, such as the ones listed above, are on an “at-cost” basis. We are only able to perform title searches or document retrieval requests for Comox Valley Regional District applications.