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Development Permit Areas

The City‘s Official Community Plan includes four Development Permit Areas (DPAs) where special requirements for development or alteration of the land are in effect. Development Permits may be required within these specific areas to:   

  • Establish objectives for form and character of commercial, industrial or multiple family residential development;
  • Establish objectives to promote energy conservation, water conservation or the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • Revitalize areas where commercial uses are permitted;
  • Protect the natural environment, its ecosystems, and biological diversity;
  • Protect development from hazardous conditions; and
  • Protect farming.

My property is located within a Development Permit Area

If you are building a new house or if you are demolishing and rebuilding a house and your property is included within one or more of the DPAs, discuss your proposed work with City before you commence any work. Arrange a Pre-Application meeting with the City Planning & Development Department staff. They will be able to advise you about whether your proposed work will trigger a DP, or if it is exempt from the DPA requirements, and/or if you require further assessments by a Qualified Professional. City Staff may also be able to advise you about how to apply and what the submission requirements are for a DP.

Development Permits Process

Depending on the circumstances for development, a property may fall within more than one DPA, and in that case, only one DP application is required.  Development Guidelines from all the Development Permit Areas shall apply, however, and will need to be taken into consideration for any development that occurs.

Development Permit, objectives, application areas, requirements and development permit guidelines associated with each DPA can be found in the City of Surrey’s Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 18020, 2014 in Sub Section VI, but are summarized below for convenience:

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  • Area 1 Form and Character Development Permit Area expand
  • Area 1 Form and Character Development Permit Area

    Objectives of the Form and Character DPAs:

    Form and Character DPAs are intended to:

    • Provide for a built environment that is safe, attractive, people-friendly and energy efficient;
    • Create attractive and active streetscapes that engage pedestrians and complement neighbouring properties;
    • Encourage development features that conserve energy and water and have reduced contributions to Surrey’s greenhouse gas emissions; and
    • Ensure that developments are of high quality and do not adversely impact the image or character of the city.

    Where Form and Character DPAs apply:       

    The entire City of Surrey is designated as Form and Character DPA  for all commercial, industrial or multiple family residential development areas.

    When a Form and Character DP required:

    A Development permit will be required for any improvements to a property, including:

    • alterations,
    • site design,
    • landscaping,
    • new construction,
    • or subdivision,

    for all commercial, industrial or multiple family residential developments.

    *Note: (Any lands that are in Campbell Heights which are illustrated in Figure 64 of the OCP Implementation Section II (d) and the City of Surrey COSMOS Map are exempt from a Form and Character DP).

    For more information about Form & Character DPA submission requirements, development guidelines, and permit exemptions:

    • Form and Character DPA #1 Guidelines from DP1 of the OCP (Coming Soon)
    • Form and Character DPA #1 Application Process Guide (Coming soon)
  • Area 2 Hazard Lands Development Permit Area expand
  • Area 2 Hazard Lands Development Permit Area

    Objectives of the Hazard Lands DPAs

    The Steep Slopes Hazard DPAs are intended to:

    • Protect peoples, property and the natural environment from the consequences of natural hazards and from development on unsafe, unstable slopes and potentially hazardous areas;
    • Prevent soil erosion in areas of unstable or potentially unstable slopes which pose hazards;
    • Promote development that respects the terrain, vegetation, drainage courses and constraints related to the hillside environment of the site;
    • Maintain vegetative cover of steep slopes as a means to prevent erosion and unstable slopes;
    • Promote the siting of buildings and other structures that are compatible with the steep slope context;
    • Ensure road design and anticipated uses provide for a safe environment and ease of on-going maintenance.

    The Flood Prone Hazard DPAs are intended to:

    • Protect people, property and the natural environment from the consequences of natural flood hazards.

    Where Hazard Lands DPAs apply:

    The Steep Slopes Hazard DP areas are:

    • all parcels of property containing land with steep slopes in excess of fifteen percent (15%) gradient, or which are either within a 10 meter downslope or 30 meter top of slope of land with steep slopes in excess of fifteen percent (15%) gradient, as shown in: Figure 65 of the OCP Implementation Section II (d) and City of Surrey COSMOS Map.

    The Flood Prone Hazard DPA areas are:

    • all properties containing lands within the 200 year floodplain as generally shown in: Figure 66 of the OCP Implementation Section II (d) and/or City of Surrey COSMOS Map.

    When a Hazard Lands DP is required:

    A Development permit will be required prior to development activities for any of the following activities:

    • Subdivision of land;
    • Land alteration or land clearing activity (includes, but is not limited to, removal of trees or shrubs with no limitation or specification to size, diameter or species); and
    • Construction of, addition to, or alteration of buildings or structures.

    Find more information about Hazard Lands DPA submission requirements, development guidelines, and permit exemptions:

    • Hazard Lands DPA Guidelines from DP#2 of the OCP (Coming Soon)
    • Hazard Lands DPA #2 Application Process Guide (Coming soon)
  • Area 3 Sensitive Ecosystems Development Permit Area expand
  • Area 3 Sensitive Ecosystems Development Permit Area

    Objectives of the Sensitive Ecosystems DPAs

    The Streamside Protection DPAs are intended to:

    • Conserve, protect and enhance aquatic areas and associated riparian habitat;
    • Encourage ecosystems processes and biodiversity and ensure development activity does not encroach upon or alter riparian and aquatic habitats;
    • Provide for: drainage maintenance access; potential public trails; beaver habitat accommodation; tree health, natural stream dynamics, and slope stability risk minimization; and
    • Maintain and enhance the ecosystem function of the Streamside Protection Areas as defined in Part 7A of the Surrey Zoning Bylaw, No. 1200, 1993

    The Green Infrastructure Areas DPAs are intended to:

    • Maintain and enhance ecosystem and critical habitat for at-risk species and generate opportunities that support and enhance biological diversity;
    • Integrate ecological systems and processes into urban areas and assess conservation values and enhancement priorities equally with land development, growth management and infrastructure planning; and
    • Identify and minimize the disturbance of development on the Green Infrastructure Network; as derived in the Surrey Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.

    Where Sensitive Ecosystems DPAs apply:

    The Green Infrastructure Network DP areas are:

    The Streamside Protection DP areas are:

    • all properties, where any portion of the property, falls within 50 m of the top of bank of either one or both sides of a Class A, A/O, or B streams containing fish habitat, as generally shown in: Figure 68 of the OCP Implementation Section II (d)  and/or City of Surrey COSMOS Map.
      (Should a stream not illustrated in Figure 68 be identified, it is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the City to determine whether or not the area in question falls with this DPA.)

    When a Sensitive Ecosystem DP required:

    A Development permit will be required prior to development activities for any of the following activities:

    • Subdivision of land;
    • Construction, addition or alteration of a building or structure;
    • Construction of roads and trails;
    • Disturbance of soils, land alteration or land clearing; and
    • Installing non-structural surfaces with semi-pervious or impervious materials.

    Find more information about Sensitive Ecosystems DPA submission requirements, development guidelines, and exemptions:

     

  • Area 4 Farm Protection Development Permit Area expand
  • Area 4 Farm Protection Development Permit Area

    Objectives of the Farm Protection DPA:

    The Farm Protection DPA is intended to:

    • Encourage the development of effective landscape buffers along the boundary of the Agricultural land Reserve (ALR) designated lands;
    • Adjust urban densities and buildings along the urban side of the (ALR) border to allow for better management and maintenance of Agricultural buffers;
    • Encourage open space creation, wildlife management and habitat protection along the urban side of urban-agricultural interface areas to minimize the impact on farm activities.

    Where Farm Protection DPAs apply:

    The Farm Protection DPAs apply to:

    • any commercial, industrial, institutional or residential development that directly abuts land within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and/or that falls within 50 m of the ALR boundary, as shown in: Figure 69 of the OCP Implementation Section II (d)  and/or City of Surrey COSMOS Map.

    When a Farm Protection DP required:

    A Development permit will be required for any improvements to a property, for any of the following activities:

    • Subdivision of land;
    • New Construction;
    • External Building alterations;
    • Site works;
    • Landscaping.

    Find more information about Farm Protection DPA Submission Requirements, development guidelines, and exemptions:

     

How to apply for a permit

For more information on Surrey’s DPAs and DP process, please review the following information and related City webpages, including:

or drop by the Planning & Department counter from Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, or get in touch by:

Phone: 604-591-4441         
Fax: 604-591-2507
Email: planning&development@surrey.ca