The strong sense of community on Bowen Island has shaped a special place for connecting with what matters most.  The Planning Department helps to ensure that growth and development on the island continues to honour and contribute to the lifestyle that is so valued by the community. 

Are you planning to develop property? Check with the Planning Department to make sure you have all the necessary approvals and permits for your proposed development before you start any work.

The Planning Department is involved in the following areas:

Land Use Planning

Land use planning considers where and how much of the island should be used for certain things like housing, parks, commerce and industry.  This is done through plans, policies and bylaws, chiefly the Official Community Plan and the Land Use Bylaw.

Development Approvals

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, including a:

  • Rezoning approval
  • Subdivision approval
  • Development Permit
  • Development Variance Permit

Building and Renovations

In addition to any required development approvals, a Building Permit may be needed to ensure buildings are safe for their intended purpose.

Public Notices

Some planning applications involve changes to bylaws and plans.  Public notice is given for such proposed changes and opportunities are provided for public comment.

The Planning and Building department is committed to providing an exceptional level of service to the public by working directly with applicants to guide them and provide information, and to develop Council reports and referrals for each process as defined by the Local Government Act and conduct local consultation and notification when required.

Service Profile

The core activities of the Planning Department include current and long-range planning, which include:

  • Reviewing and guiding development applications through the appropriate permitting process and Provincial and/or Federal regulations
  • Reviewing and amending the Official Community Plan and Land Use bylaw
  • Interpretation and application of various development control functions
  • Processing of subdivision, development permit and development variance permit applications
  • Responding to inquiries from the public, developers and contractors, and other stakeholders in planning processes
  • Working with council and its committees with regard to specific Council directed projects

The Planning & Building Team

Island Community Planner: Responsible for the day-to-day administration of planning projects and providing planning guidance and expertise to Council, staff, and the public in order that Council may achieve development objectives while meeting community needs.

Island Community Planner 1: Under the direction of the Island Community Planner, the Island Community Planner 1 is responsible for select development applications, planning inquires and supporting role to the Island Community Planner as required. Undertakes long-range planning projects as required.

Building & Planning Clerk: Responsible for all secretarial and clerical related functions for the Building Inspection and Planning Department.

Building Inspector: Responsible for the administration and enforcement of the BC Building Code and the Building Bylaw. Reviews and inspects Building permit applications and ongoing construction.

Highlights from the 2016 Island Plan

In addition to processing permit applications, in 2016 the Planning Department undertook long-term plans and policies. The following are plans and policies directed by Council in the Island Plan 2016 Strategic Plan:

  • Develop Environmental Protection Measures: Supervised a project considering relevant legislation and comparable communities for Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Steep Slopes Development Permit Areas
  • Sell Some Community Lands: Planning for Community Lands, including amendment bylaws and subdivisions as appropriate
  • Actively Support Diverse Housing: Prepared Bylaws for Detached Secondary Suites
  • Continue to Improve Transportation Options: Continued the Integrated Transportation Master Plan