Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Development Questions

Does my property have development potential?

Prior to submitting a development application to the City of Mission, it is essential that you contact the Planning Division to inquire as to the property’s current zoning and Official Community Plan designation to ascertain if there is land development potential. Please be advised that this information will only be available either at the counter of the Planning Department or when requested by email at

In order to ensure accuracy of the information provided it is important that you provide the civic address and any other pertinent information you have in respect to the subject property. After preliminary discussions with planning staff are complete; you may wish to pursue a Pre-Application Meeting with Planning Department staff. This Pre-Application Meeting is held biweekly to discuss and review proposed land development. A Pre-Application Review Meeting Form must be submitted online by the applicant, and include a proposed draft site plan that outlines a brief summary of the proposal.

Through the Pre-Application Meeting process, applicants are provided with verbal feedback on their development proposal without having to submit a formal Application Form.  In addition, the applicants are provided a written summary of City of Mission requirements for a formal Land Use Application. This will allow applicants to better understand development requirements and provide feedback from Planning, Engineering, Inspection Services, Parks and Recreation, RCMP (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) and Fire/Rescue Service Departments. The feedback provided from this meeting will give the applicant some insight into the feasibility and challenges of the development proposal and gain a clear understanding of the municipal staff’s position on a particular proposal. If you have any further questions in regards to land development potential, please call 604-820-3748 or email at

What is an Official Community Plan?

The Official Community Plan Bylaw is a comprehensive policy document of Council that outlines the preferred municipal guidelines to manage the development of land and subsequent change within the City of Mission. In a traditional sense, the Official Community Plan policies are to provide a “blueprint” for land use management. At the local level in a community such as Mission, the policies are also intended to represent an expression of the broad community desires of local residents and an assessment based upon an extensive evaluation of the factors that influence the municipality’s growth. The Official Community Plan further attempts to identify current and future community objectives and needs. In essence, the Official Community Plan provides a thorough sense of direction of how it is envisioned that Mission will expand and evolve during the next five year period and into the longer range future.

What is Zoning?

Every property in the City of Mission has been assigned a zoning category. Zoning regulates the permitted uses, building setbacks, height and densities allowed on a given property. 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, institutional and rural. The  Zoning Bylaw specifies development regulations for each zoning category and is available at the Planning Department.

When is Rezoning Necessary?
Rezoning is the process of changing the zoning category of a property. Before any development takes place on a property, whether it be constructing new buildings or changing the types of activities that occur on the property, you should first check the existing zoning regulations for that property.
What is Subdivision?

Subdivision is the process of altering legal property boundaries and creating new parcels of land. There are several types of subdivision: creating several lots from one or more existing lots; adjusting or realigning an existing lot line(s); converting a few simple title multi-unit residential building (i.e. a rental apartment building with a single owner) into a strata title (multi-owner condominium) building; bare land strata subdivisions.

Subdivision and development of land in Mission is regulated by Development and Subdivision Control Bylaw 5650-2017.

Why you need to obtain the City’s Approval for Subdivision?

The Local Government Act, the Land Title Act of British Columbia and the Subdivision Control Bylaw require that all subdivisions be approved by the Approving Officer (the Approving Officer is appointed by Council, under the Land Title Act, to make decisions and exercise discretionary powers with respect to the subdivision of land). Approval for subdivisions is necessary to ensure that all statutory and City Bylaw requirements are addressed including: size and shape of lots/buildable area; roads, lanes and emergency vehicles access; open space and walkways; preservation of natural features (ravines, streams, trees, etc.); compatibility of subdivision pattern with surrounding neighbourhood; sanitary sewer, water, drainage, street lights and other services; protection of opportunity for future development for lands adjacent to or beyond the lands being subdivided.

For further details on application processes, such as application form, fees, development cost charges, required information, please refer to the LAN.41 Guide To Land Development.

What is a Development Permit?

Development Permit  is a type of development approval given by Council. Specific areas of the City of Mission have been designated as Development Permit Areas in the Official Community Plan. Each of these areas has a set of development guidelines which specify the City’s development objectives for that area. Development Permit’s are permitted by the Municipal Act for the following purposes: to protect the natural environment; to prevent development from creating hazardous conditions; to achieve objectives for the form and character of commercial, industrial or multi family developments; to protect Provincial or Municipal heritage areas; to revitalize specific commercial areas.

The majority of Development Permit’s are used to evaluate the proposed design of new multi-unit residential, commercial and industrial developments and their related parking areas, landscaping and signage. Development Permit’s are in addition to normal zoning, servicing, building and fire code regulations. They may supercede Zoning Bylaw requirements by setting terms and conditions that differ from or supplement those in the Zoning Bylaw. However, a Development Permit may not vary the permitted uses or densities of land use prescribed by existing zoning regulations.

A Development Permit for a proposed project is approved and issued when Council is satisfied that the project meets all guidelines and conditions for the Development Permit Area. A Development Permit is not a Building Permit. Development Permit approval must be obtained before a building permit can be obtained. You need to apply for a building permit before you can proceed to construction.

What is a Development Variance Permit?

Development Variance Permit is a type of development approval given by Council. A Development Variance Permit is a permit requested by an applicant to vary a section of a City of Mission bylaw, as permitted by the Municipal Act. For example, a Development Variance Permit may vary sections of Municipal Bylaws which address:

  • dimensions and siting of buildings and structures on land
  • siting and design of off-street parking and loading facilities
  • landscaping or screening
  • signs
  • works and services
  • subdivision procedures

A Development Variance Permit may not vary the permitted uses or densities of land use prescribed by existing zoning regulations.