Planning Division

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If you would like to make a development application or development inquiry, please email  with a detailed summary of your development proposal.

Planning Staff will contact you to discuss your application and provide you with the required application forms. When you are ready to proceed and have all of the required application materials you can request a file upload link to submit your electronic application materials to the Planning Department. Staff will contact you with the required application fees and information on how to make a payment.

 General Information

The Planning Division is responsible for processing development related applications such as rezoning, development permits, development variance permits, board of variance permits, tree permits, boundary extensions, sign permits, as well as keeping the related bylaws and policies up to date.

Click on the headings below for more detailed information, bylaws and supporting documents (the information headings below are listing in alphabetical order).

Board of Variance

The Board of Variance deals with appeals for minor variances where compliance with the Zoning Regulation Bylaw would cause undue hardship. The Board also deals with matters regarding additions and structural alterations to non-conforming buildings.

Current Development Applications

View plans and information on development applications currently under review with the Planning Division as well as the status of these applications and important Council meeting dates.

Development Permits

Development Permits regulate form and character, signage, siting, landscaping, screening, lighting and parking. Designated areas within the City are subject to the issuance of Development Permits. The Official Community Plan establishes guidelines for the form and character of new development.

Development Variance Permits

A Development Variance Permit is issued by Council, and allows variations of zoning, subdivision or sign bylaw provisions. It cannot vary the use of land, density or floodplain specification established in applicable City bylaws. A variance permit is granted for a specific purpose and the development must conform to the specifications set out in the approval. Most permits deal with setbacks and height.

Downtown Courtenay Revitalization Tax Exemption

A downtown revitalizatio tax exemption program to stimulate commercial and residential redevelopment and revitalization in the greater downtown area.


Information on Courtenay’s Heritage and Heritage Commission.

Liquor Licence and Cannabis Applications [PDF - 252 KB] - Application

The LCRB regulates the licensing and permits for establishments and events including:

  • Restaurants, bars and pubs
  • Liquor manufacturers
  • Private liquor stores
  • Catering
  • Special event permits 
  • Private cannabis stores
  • Cannabis marketing

The City of Courtenay will get notification of applications from LCRB, seperate application need to be made with The City of Courtenay staff review and provide comment to LCRB before approval.

Official Community Plan

The OCP sets out land use categories and approximate locations and densities of land uses. It includes a Development Permit section which helps strengthen the design, landscaping and environmental requirements for new development.   The OCP applies to the entire municipality and is the principal policy document that Council uses to make decisions on matters such as land use, growth management, design of the build environment, protection of the environment, climate change, transportation and mobility, economic development, infrastructure, housing needs.

Recreational Cannabis Regulations and Storefront Cannabis Retailer

This policy was established in response to the legalization of cannabis by the federal government and the potential unregulated proliferation of storefront cannabis retailers. It is intended to address potentially adverse community impacts of storefront cannabis retailers, including inappropriate exposure of minors to cannabis and the undesirable concentration of storefront cannabis retailers.

Sign Permit Application Form

Sign Bylaw

Temporary Use Permit [PDF - 125 KB] - Check List

Temporary Use Permit Application [PDF - 177 KB]

This application is only available where the OCP or Zoning Bylaw designate the area as a place where temporary uses may be allowed.

Tree Management

A Tree Bylaw is in place to regulate the removal of trees on all lands in the City. Trees and forest groves that occur on public and private land are iconic and important contributions to Courtenay’s identity and character. Trees also provide valuable ecological services and contribute to quality of life of residents and visitors.

Urban Forest Strategy

The Urban Forest Strategy will guide how we as a community protect and manage trees on public and private land within the Courtenay boundaries. The urban forest includes the collection of trees, vegetation, soil and associated natural processes across our city’s landscape.

Zoning Regulations

The Zoning Bylaw is the key tool used in implementing and regulating land use in the City of Courtenay. The Zoning Bylaw establishes where uses and building can occur, and at what densities. Regulations are also created for different uses, locations and siting requirements.