Development Permit Areas
What is a development permit area?
A development permit area (DPA) is an important tool used in the development process to protect the natural environment, to protect development from hazardous conditions, to guide the form and character of development, to promote energy or water conservation, or to promote reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A map in the OCP indicates where the DPA is designated and text of the DPA indicates for what types of development a permit is required. The text of the DPA also describes its objectives, special conditions that justify the designation and guidelines respecting the manner by which the objectives or special conditions will be addressed. In an area where a DPA is designated, a development permit must first be obtained prior to certain types of development such as subdivision, construction, or land alteration. Some DPA guidelines require a report from a professional such as a biologist or engineer, or other supporting information. The permit itself includes conditions that must be adhered to during or after development.
Where are development permit areas in the RDN?
The RDN designates development permit areas (DPAs) in its seven official community plans (OCPs) for a variety of purposes as enabled by the Local Government Act. In an area where a DPA is designated, a development permit must first be obtained prior to certain types of development such as subdivision, construction, or land alteration. A map in the OCP indicates where the DPA is designated and text of the DPA indicates for what types of development a permit is required.
Why should the development permit area guidelines be standardized?
In the RDN, there are currently forty-nine development permit areas in seven official community plans adopted between 1997 and 2017. Due to changes to best practices, experience of working with existing DPAs and changes in the region, the DPA guidelines established for the same purpose vary from one area to another. Standardizing DPAs will ensure today's best practices are adopted throughout the electoral areas which will result in consistent requirements for applicants and a more effective means of implementing the DPAs.
Will any development permit areas be expanded into areas they do not currently apply?
No. The scope of this project is limited to standardizing the guidelines of development permit areas (DPAs) that already exist. For example, there is currently a DPA for the marine coast in Electoral Areas A, G, and H but not in E. The Marine Coast DPA will not be extended into Electoral Area E, but the guidelines for the areas where it already applies will be standardized. Changing where a DPA is designated can be considered in a different project, most likely when an official community plan is being reviewed for a specific electoral area.