Development Approvals

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We're receiving a higher than normal amount of development applications, resulting in  processing times of three to four months. Read more

What is Development?

Development may include subdivision, site preparation, building, or even tree removal.  A number of approvals or permits may be required to ensure that development is done responsibly.  Commonly required approvals include:

Subdivision Approval

If you want to create additional lots or change the boundaries of your property you will need to apply for a subdivision.  Subdivisions must comply with the Official Community Plan and the Land Use Bylaw.

Apply for a Subdivision

As of January 15, 2020, Bowen Island Municipality, on behalf of Translink, is required to collect the Regional Transportation DCC for all building permits issued and subdivisions approved on Bowen Island.

Lot Consolidation

If you want to amalgamate two or more properties, you will need to apply to the British Columbia Land Title Office.

Development Permit

Development Permit Areas (DPA) are designated on Bowen Island to protect the natural environment, help revitalize commercial areas, or establish form and character of certain development.  If your proposed development is within a DPA, it must meet the applicable guidelines and you must obtain a Development Permit (DP) before commencing any work.  Go to BowMap to find your property and see if it is within any DPAs. NOTE: The Development Permit application includes a checklist that specifies all required information that needs to be submitted for the application to be processed.

Development Permit Areas


Apply for a Development Permit

Board of Variance Approval

The Board of Variance (BOV) considers minor variances in siting, dimensions, or size requirements where compliance with the Land Use Bylaw would cause undue hardship. For example, if a big rock in a yard made it a hardship to site a house in conformity with the required setbacks, a person could apply for a minor variance.

The BOV cannot vary the permitted uses, densities, or parking under the Land Use Bylaw, nor does it to deal with major variance applications. Major variances require a Development Variance Permit application (see below).

Apply for a BOV Approval

Development Variance Permit

If your lot has unique features or circumstances that makes it hard to meet the Land Use Bylaw requirements, you may choose to apply to Council for a Development Variance Permit (DVP).  Permitted uses and density cannot be varied by a DVP. A rezoning application would be required to vary permitted uses or density (see Land Use Planning for more information on rezoning applications).

Apply for a Development Variance Permit

Covenant Amendment

An application form and fee is required if the development requires a covenant amendment.

Moorage Approval

Moorage proposals must comply with the Land Use Bylaw and require a Building Permit to build, extend, improve, or replace a private/group moorage facility (i.e. a dock, float, gangway, pier, boat lift). Building Permit applications must be accompanied by foreshore tenure (usually a Specific Permission) issued by the Province of British Columbia.

Apply for a Moorage Facility

Last Updated on 2022-02-04 at 9:13 AM