What is a Development Variance Permit?

A Development Variance Permit (DVP) is a land use permit used by local governments to ‘vary’ or relax a regulation. Examples of regulations that may be varied include building setbacks, height, size, or site coverage.

When is a Development Variance Permit required?

If your proposed development does not conform to the zoning regulations, a DVP may be a potential path forward. DVPs cannot vary land use (e.g., single family home to apartments) or density (e.g., floor area ratio), but can vary the siting, size, or height. Keep in mind that the approval of DVP applications is discretionary, so having a strong rationale in favor of the request demonstrating support from various City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) policies is mandatory for Committee and Council consideration.

Things to consider before you apply:

  • Exhaust all options by trying to meet bylaw requirements before resorting to a DVP application.
  • Speak to your neighbors regarding your plans.
  • If you are in a strata, talk to your strata council.
  • Be prepared to pay additional advertising costs (e.g., signage and notification).

Development Variance Permit Process

The full DVP process is outlined in the diagram below. Once you are ready to apply, ensure you have completed the DVP Application Checklist, and submit the online Development and Land Use Application form. 

Helpful Links

Development and Land Use Application Form

Development Variance Permit Application Checklist

Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 1603

Official Community Plan (OCP)

If you have any questions about the Development Variance Permit Process, please contact Development Services at 250-294-8153 or planning@colwood.ca.