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City introduces new appointment booking system to streamline the permit process

October 15 2013

This is a first step in a series of improvements to the City's permit and licence processes

View of Downtown and West End from Granville Street Bridge

To help reduce the frustrations of waiting in line to apply for a permit — or to ask general questions about zoning, development, and building issues — we are introducing an appointment booking system. Starting November 4, 2013, you can skip the line and book appointments for a variety of permit services including:

  • Enquiries and advice for zoning, building, and development
  • Application submissions for development and building permits (these include everything from demolitions to minor additions to new mixed use buildings)

To book an appointment, call: 604-873-7611, Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm starting November 4, 2013.

What's changing November 4

Here is a summary of the changes as of November 4, 2013.

Appointments are available — but not required — for the following services: 

  • Enquiries and advice about zoning, building, and development permit applications
  • Application submissions for minor interior and exterior alterations, demolition, and garage permits, tenant improvements that qualify for field review, additions, and alterations to single family dwellings

Appointments are required for the following services:

  • Application submissions for the Tenant Improvement Program (TIPS), development permits, more complex building permits, and all new-construction single family housing permits - both conditional and outright - and laneway houses. 

Most appointments can be booked over the phone at 604-873-7611. There are a few exceptions:

  • Building permit applications submitted through the Certified Professional (CP) program (new process). To request a pre-application meeting or to open a building permit, email: cp.process@vancouver.ca
  • Development permit applications with an assigned project facilitator. Applicants should continue to arrange application submission directly with their project facilitator.
  • Pre-application appointments with planners. Learn about the new process for requesting a meeting below.

New process for requesting a pre-application appointment with a development planner

If you are ready with a preliminary proposal for a new development or major addition that requires a development planner to review the discretionary aspects of zoning regulations, guidelines, or policy interpretations as they relate to the proposal, we strongly encourage you to have a pre-application meeting with a development planner.

Please note that development planner pre-application meetings are for a review of preliminary plans. For all other questions please contact the Enquiry Centre at 604-873-7611 to book an enquiry meeting.

To start, email par@vancouver.ca with the following information:

  • Contact information (name, company, phone, and email)
  • Site address
  • Current zoning of your site, and whether you are requesting a:
    • Proposal under Current Zoning
    • Rezoning
  • Whether there is a heritage building on the site
  • General description of the proposal, including whether the proposal is for a:
    • New building
    • Renovation / addition
  • Whether the proposal is for a laneway house
  • What specific advice or information you need (for example, relaxation requests)
  • Other issues or comments that will help to inform us about the proposal
  • Preliminary plans / sketches, and photos

After sending us this information, a planner will contact you within five business days to schedule an appointment. The planner will let you know what additional materials he or she will require (for example, photos or a context plan). These need to be submitted at least two days before the appointment.

The City is striving to improve the way it serves its customers. We appreciate your patience as we roll out these and other significant service enhancements over the next few years.

Get more details on the development permit process

Highrise under construction

Development permit

There are different types of development permits in Vancouver for different situations. Read the specifics, download the forms, and find contact info.