Development Applications & Resources

Types of Development Applications


The Zoning Bylaw regulates how a property can be used, what type and size of buildings may be constructed, the size of lots that can be created and required parking for vehicles and bicycles. Generally speaking, the purpose of zoning is to ensure that certain types of land uses are located in appropriate areas. The different zones are generally grouped as residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional. 

A rezoning application is an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw. When a development proposal is not in compliance with provisions of the Zoning Bylaw and changes to components such as land use and density are required for the development to proceed, a rezoning application is necessary. Any rezoning must be in accordance with the Official Community Plan (OCP). If the rezoning application is not consistent with the OCP, an application to amend the OCP may also be required. 

For additional information contact Planning and Development at 250-828-3561 or for more information, or refer to the relevant bylaws, guides, or applications.

Official Community Plan Amendment

The Official Community Plan (OCP) provides direction to guide decisions on planning and land use management within the jurisdiction of the city. The OCP includes a growth plan to a population of 120,000 residents, policies to guide planning and land use, and guidelines for development. In order to change any of the policies outlined in the OCP—in other words, to change the vision approved by Council—an OCP amendment is required.

For additional information contact Planning and Development at 250-828-3561 or for more information, or refer to the relevant bylaws or applications.

Development Permits

The Official Community Plan (OCP) includes a number of Development Permit Areas (DPA’s) which guide development in the City.

City-wide Development Permit Areas have been established under the Official Community Plan for:

Area specific Development Permit Areas have been established under the Official Community Plan for: 

If you own land within a Development Permit Area, you’re required to obtain a Development Permit prior to subdividing land or constructing or adding to a building or structure. You can look up your property on our online mapping system or contact the Planning and Development Section to determine if you are in a DPA. If a Development Permit is required, your application submissions are reviewed against the guidelines of the Development Permit Area for your property as outlined in the Official Community Plan (OCP) and for compliance with other City regulations, including the Zoning Bylaw.

Development Permit Amendments

A Development Permit Amendment is required for any changes to an existing Development Permit.

Form & Character Development Permits

Form and character development permits are typically required for:    

  • Exterior building design
  • Landscaping
  • Siting/placement of buildings and parking
  • Building finishes and colours

Riparian Areas Regulation Development Permits

The Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) Development Permit Area as shown on Map 11 applies to all privately owned land within 30 m of the high water mark or top of a stream’s ravine bank of the North and South Thompson Rivers, Kamloops Lake, all their tributaries, and all water bodies containing fish habitat within city boundaries. Prior to undertaking any of the activities defined as development within the RAR Development Permit Area, an owner of property or appropriate delegate shall apply to the City of Kamloops for a Development Permit. A qualified environmental professional (QEP) will be retained at the expense of the applicant for the purpose of preparing a report on the riparian area pursuant to the RAR Assessment Methodology Guidebook.

Contact Planning and Development at 250-828-3561 or for more information, or refer to the relevant guides or applications.

Silt Bluffs Hazard Zone Development Permits

The Silt Bluffs Hazard Zone Development Permit Area as shown on Map 12 extends approximately from Rose Hill Road to Campbell Creek at the eastern boundary of the city. The area includes a Red Zone, which that extends from the toe of the slope of the silt benchland escarpment to the valley wall, and a Yellow Zone (Foreset/Backset Areas).

These areas are susceptible to hazardous conditions such as sinkholes, piping (the formation of underground tunnels and caving due to internal water erosion), and various types of slope failure and resulting landslide runout. Substantial harm and/or damage could result from development in this area. As such, to regulate development on and adjacent to the silt bluffs in such a manner as to protect life and property from the identified hazardous conditions, and to determine the conditions or requirements that need to be met to safeguard life and property. A development permit application shall include a geotechnical report that has been prepared by a professional geotechnical engineer who is qualified to practise in the field of geotechnical engineering.

Development Variance Permits

Development Variance Permits are issued by Council to vary standards imposed in a bylaw that conflict with characteristics of a project. Some of the requirements that could be varied by a Development Permit can be found in these bylaws:

A development variance application cannot:

  • Vary the allowed density
  • Permit a non-conforming use

Development Variance Permit Guide

Board of Variance

A minor variance that is considered to be the result of hardship is normally the responsibility of the Board of Variance. As there are limitations on orders that a Board of Variance can authorize, please contact Planning and Development staff to discuss the particulars of your situation.

Temporary Use Permits

The Official Community Plan (OCP) supports utilizing a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) for commercial and industrial uses that are not permitted under the current zoning for a maximum period of three years with the option to renew for one additional three-year term. TUP’s should not have a negative impact on adjacent lands or permanently alter the site upon which it is located. The TUP may outline the use, conditions, and regulate the construction of buildings or structures. A TUP is an option to permit a use in a controlled manner, while trying to mitigate any possible impacts before considering longer-term solutions such as Zoning Bylaw amendment.

Subdivision Applications

Subdivision of land includes the division of land into two or more parcels, adjusting an existing property (lot) line, or consolidation of two or more lots into one. As the complexity of subdivision applications can vary, it is recommended that you to discuss your ideas with City staff prior to submitting an application.

The Planning and Development Section will review and consider all subdivision applications against the requirements of the City’s Subdivision and Development Control Bylaw and the Zoning Bylaw, including minimum lot dimensions; lot area; and lot width and development servicing requirements such as sidewalk, street lighting, and sewer and water connections.

Each year there are cases where new strata development plans do not get registered with the land title office by November 30 and therefore the tax notice is only issued to the developer for the parent property. Click here for information on the apportionment process which generates a separate tax notice for each strata unit and allows new owners, if eligible, to apply for a Home Owner Grant.

Sign Permits

Signs are a great tool to help locate and identify your business. Fascia, projecting, freestanding, canopy, banner and hanging signs are a few examples of the different type of signs that require a permit in the City. Submission and approval of a Sign Permit is required before placing or altering a sign on the exterior of any building or structure, or on any property in the City. The Sign Regulations Bylaw outlines the size, location, and content of signage within the City to prevent interference with traffic lights and signs, prevent confusion and undue conflict of signage, and permit the proper identification of businesses.

A Sign Permit Application will be reviewed for compliance with the Sign Bylaw. And, if applicable, any registered Development Permits. If the application meets all requirements the sign permit may be issued. Permit fees are applied in accordance with Schedule “E” of the Sign Bylaw.

Comfort Letters and Zoning Information Requests

Comfort Letters and Zoning Information Requests provide information on land use items such as the current and future zoning, current development bylaws, approved uses, and property compliance. Zoning requests are most commonly requested by law firms or Real Estate Agents wanting to know the current status of a property before the finalization of a property sale.

Please note, not all information requests are available through routine channels, or through comfort letters or zoning information requests. In some circumstances, a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Request may be required to access records.

Agricultural Land Reserve

If your property is located within the Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) and you wish to do any of the following, you must make an application to the Agriculture Land Commission.

  • Exclude land from the ALR
  • Include land in the ALR
  • Subdivide land in the ALR
  • Use land in the ALR for non-farm purposes

Your completed application is submitted to the Planning and Development Section for review and consideration. If Council supports the application, the City will forward your application to the Agricultural Land Commission for their review.

Please visit the Agriculture Land Commission for more information and for a copy of the application.

Pre-Application Meetings and Discussions

Before you get started, please contact Planning & Development at 250-828-3561 or to arrange a pre-application meeting and/or discuss your development plans. To assist with review and discussions, site plans and conceptual or preliminary design drawings should be provided prior to meetings or discussions. We’ll take a look at your concept plans and guide you toward which steps may be required, the development process, and provide you with better understanding of any design considerations. The pre-application review process may also provide a coordinated response from appropriate City departments regarding any major issues determined from the preliminary concept plans and proposed development description.

Average Processing Times

Application TypeAverage Processing Time
Rezoning10-12 weeks
Official Community Plan Amendment10-12 weeks
Development Permit4-6 weeks
Development Variance Permit8-10 weeks
Preliminary Development Proposal Review~4 weeks
Sign Permit1 week
ALR ApplicationsPlease inquire
SubdivisionsPlease inquire

Note: These time frames only represent an average processing time. Depending upon the complexity of an application, volume of applications in receipt, and staffing levels, these time frames may be extended.

Development and Land Use Application Fees

Application fees for rezoning, Official Community Plan amendments, development variance permits, development permits, land use contract amendments, temporary use permits, heritage tax incentive program, board of variance, revitalization tax exemption, subdivision, property information requests, covenant discharge and amendments, liquor licence permits, and retail cannabis sales licence permits are in accordance with the Development and Land Use Application Fees Bylaw.

Public Open House

Public open houses are recommended for land use bylaw amendments such as rezoning applications for commercial, industrial, or multiple-family developments (eight units or greater) located within 100 m of land zoned for residential use.

A public open house provides the applicant with an opportunity to engage with residents in the surrounding area by providing information on the proposal, discussing and answering any related questions, and obtaining feedback so that potential issues or concerns can be identified and addressed before the application goes to Council.

Please see the Guide to Hosting a Public Open House for details.