Land Use Planning and Building Permits

Metro Vancouver is responsible for Metro 2040: Shaping our Future, the regional growth strategy, which covers all lands within its jurisdiction. The Electoral Area A Zoning Bylaw sets out the permitted land uses and regulations for specific zones in all areas except:

  • Passage and Bowyer Islands under Islands Trust Jurisdiction
  • First Nation Reserves under Federal jurisdiction
  • The University Endowment Lands administered by the Province
  • The University of British Columbia administered by the Province.

The Approving Officer for subdivisions is the Provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. In addition to the zoning regulations on Barnston Island, the Agricultural Land Reserve Act also applies as the island is within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

There is currently no Official Community Plan for Electoral Area A, except for University Endowment Lands. University Endowment Lands has an Official Community Plan and its own zoning bylaw. UBC has a Land Use Plan which will replace the existing Official Community Plan; UBC does not have a zoning bylaw.

Building Permits and Inspections

In all Electoral Area communities except for UBC and the UEL, Metro Vancouver processes building permits for the construction or alteration of buildings, structures and plumbing systems. Building demolition and moving permits are also required. Metro Vancouver is responsible for ensuring that construction meets the minimum safety requirements of the British Columbia Building Code.

Depending on the location of a proposed building, there may be additional criteria associated with a building permit, such as certified geotechnical reports or environmental assessments. Prior to obtaining a building permit, approvals from other agencies may be required, which may include: septic systems, proof of potable water, highway access, or fire department access.