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Building & Land Development

A mid-rise apartment building under construction.

Land development involves two major components: planning and building.

Planning involves the high-level consideration of how the City's land will be used, both now and into the future. It also involves the implementation of this vision through development guidelines, zoning, and project-specific coordination. While Langley City creates this long-term plan, we rely on land developers and investors to build it into reality. Because of this, we are driven to provide the support that lets you do just that. In the planning section, you can learn more about our land use policies and how they might affect your project.

Building refers to physical building construction and forms the second step of the land development process. Once a development idea is approved at a Regular Council meeting and is aligned with the City's planning goals, the applicant and the City work together on ensuring the building plans conform to the BC Building Code. In the building section, you can get access to information on the Building Permit process, find application forms, and learn about various bylaws that may affect your project.

Brownfield redevelopment is a priority in Langley City to intensify its industrial and commercial lands and reduce their environmental impact. It is defined as redevelopment underused and potentially contaminated properties into developments that make better use of the land and its location and increase local property values. Guided by an award-winning Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy, Langley City is enthusiastic in helping your brownfield redevelopment project be straightforward and profitable.

Planning
Development Process Guides

Getting approval for a development project can involve a number of different processes and applications. We have provided the guides to these processes below so you understand what you'll need to do to move your project forward and what to expect as it does.

Development Permit Process Guide
When considering development in a Development Permit Area as defined in our Official Community Plan (OCP), a Development Permit must be applied for. This allows the City to work with you on your proposal and ensure that it fits in with the vision for the area as per the relevant Development Permit Guidelines in the OCP. The Development Permit process guide outlines the steps involved in securing a Development Permit approval, the materials and information you would need to have to apply, public hearing requirements, the costs that may be involved, the typical length of time for the approval process, and the other departments and agencies that may become involved with your application.

Rezoning Process Guide
A Zoning Bylaw Amendment, also known as rezoning, is often necessary when developing a property to ensure that what will be built conforms to the Zoning Bylaw. While the OCP illustrates what a piece of land is intended to be used for in the future, the zoning generally reflects the existing use of land. The zoning must then be changed when a site is redeveloped so that the zoning matches the new building. The Rezoning Process Guide provides more information on zoning and describes the steps in the rezoning process, the information required as part of a rezoning application, potential costs, the typical approval process timeframe, and the other departments and agencies that may become involved in your application.

Subdivision Process Guide
Any time changes are made to the legal boundaries of a property, a subdivision is required. This includes moving the dividing line between two lots, combining multiple lots, or splitting them up. The subdivision process guide outlines the plans and information you'll need to have to apply, what to expect as you move through the approval process, the potential costs that you may be responsible for paying, how long the approval may take, and other departments and agencies that may become involved with your application.

Development Variance Permit Process Guide
A Development Variance Permit (DVP) is a type of development approval given by Council to vary the provisions of the Zoning Bylaw, Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw, Sign Bylaw, and other development bylaws. It is intended to be applied for when the characteristics of your specific project conflict slightly with the requirements in a City Bylaw, such as building form standards, parking minimums, and sign regulations. A DVP cannot vary land use or density standards, and Council will only grant it when the requested variance is reasonable and maintains the intent of the relevant Bylaw. The process guide includes information on the steps involved in applying and being issued a DVP, materials that will be required from you, possible costs that may be incurred, the length of time that the process may take, and the departments and agencies that may become involved with your application.

Policies & Regulations

Several different policy documents and bylaw guide development in Langley City. Some, such as the Zoning Bylaw, are detailed and enforceable, while others, such as our Sustainability Framework, are broader and include a range of initiatives that can be applied to development.

Zoning Bylaw
The Zoning Bylaw is the primary method through which land use is regulated and higher-level planning strategies are implemented. It separates the entire city into different zones, each of which will have its own set of regulations that must be followed. A typical zone will include regulations on what buildings, and the businesses within them, can be used for, minimum lot sizes, the size and positioning of the buildings, and parking requirements. If you're constructing a new building, or opening a business in an existing one, you will need to check the Zoning Bylaw to ensure that it allows what you want to do. If it doesn't, you may be able to apply for a rezoning to change a property's zoning to one that does, as long as the new zone conforms to the property's land use designation in the Official Community Plan.

To find your property and see its zoning, use our Interactive Map.

Land Use Contracts
In addition to zoning, some properties fall under Land Use Contracts, which are agreements that regulate unique land use and servicing requirements. Land Use Contracts date from a brief period in the 1970s when provincial legislation allowed municipalities to regulate land use and development through site-specific agreements with property owners. Although new land use contracts are no longer registered, those registered before remain in effect today and will affect a property's development potential unless discharged by the property owner through an application to the City.

Official Community Plan (OCP)
The Official Community Plan sets out the primary long-term vision for the City. It includes direction on planned land uses, but also on the transportation network, sustainability, social planning, urban design, and various other City priorities. As with the Zoning Bylaw, the OCP is a Council-adopted bylaw, which means that any development proposals approved by the City must conform to the land use designations within it.

The OCP is a forward-looking document while zoning generally describes current uses. As such, the OCP is generally implemented by outlining properties' rezoning potential. As with zoning and rezoning, if the OCP designation does not match your proposed development, you can apply for an OCP amendment.

The OCP also affects development through Development Permit Areas (DPAs) and their associated Development Permit Guidelines. DPAs designate properties under certain land use designations as requiring a Development Permit for any new development proposals. Each DPA then includes a set of Development Permit Guidelines which list the requirements that any new development must follow, irrespective of its intended use or zoning.

To find your property and see its OCP designation, use our Interactive Map.

Downtown Master Plan
Brochures: Phase I, Phase II, & Phase III
Full Plans: Phase IPhase II, & Phase III
The Downtown Master Plan is a comprehensive policy document for the long-term vision for downtown Langley City. Developed over three phases between 2007 and 2009, it was intended to not only guide development, but also to encourage investment and economic activity downtown. As the Official Community Plan (OCP) does for the whole city, the Downtown Master Plan includes detailed plans for a wide variety of priorities downtown, including land use, amenities, social planning, urban design, and the environment. While the plan was largely created to establish a specific vision for downtown, it is also partially enforced through the Downtown Commercial Development Permit Area in the OCP.

Riparian Area Regulation (RAR) Brochure
Langley City enforces environmental protection in development primarily through the protection of Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) and significant watercourses. Depending on the sensitivity of the environmental area or the watercourse, Langley City will have different setback requirements from the feature to ensure that development does not negatively impact local plants and wildlife. Use our Interactive Map to see if any ESAs or watercourses exist on your property, and read the RAR brochure and the Environmental Sensitive Areas Development Permit Area Guidelines in our OCP for additional information on development requirements.

Sustainability Framework
Sustainability Checklist

Langley City is committed to growing in an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable manner. We see new development helping us do that, with newer more efficient buildings that reduce emissions, higher density and mixed-use development creating jobs and supporting reduced auto use, and affordable housing maintaining Langley City as a welcoming community for all. We encourage development proponents to become familiar with our Sustainability Framework and consider how their project contributes to these goals.

We also require Development Permit and rezoning applicants to fill out our Sustainability Development Checklist, which includes a list of sustainability-driven considerations that can be incorporated in a project's design and construction. While implementing these considerations is not required for a development to be approved, the checklist encourages applicants to think about how they may be able to make their project more sustainable.

CPTED Information Booklet
CPTED Development Checklist

CPTED, which stands for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, is a planning and architecture tool in which a building and site is designed in a way that discourages crime and makes it feel more comfortable. More information on CPTED and safe urban design principles is included in the Information Booklet.

The City may require development proposals to be reviewed by a qualified CPTED consultant and for a CPTED Development Checklist to be filled out. Though not all the items included in the checklist may apply to every proposal, it encourages applicants to consider how their developments could be made safer and suggests specific actions that can be taken to do so.

Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw
The Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw comprehensively lays out Langley City's requirements for all procedures involved in land subdivision and its associated infrastructure servicing.

Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw Schedule C: Standard Detail Drawings
This companion document to the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw provides a set of drawings for road, drainage, water, tree planting, and surveying designs for applicants to refer to when submitting drawings as part of development applications to the City.

Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw Schedule E: Water Meter Specifications
This companion document to the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw details Langley City's requirements for the installation of meters on City water services. It includes specifications outlining acceptable water meter types along with location and installation requirements. The applicant is responsible for the supply and installation of meters and associated piping, chambers, and equipment on metered water services. The meter information must be provided to the City for our review and acceptance prior to the installation and activation of the service.

Fees & Charges

There are several fees and charges that must be paid to the City over the course of a development project. Some must be paid at the outset as part of your application, while others are paid later in the process closer to final approval.

Fees and Charges Bylaw
An application fee must be provided as part of your development application, with the specific fee varying depending on what you are applying for and the characteristics of your project. A breakdown of these fees is included in the Fees and Charges bylaw, as well as in the tables below:

Planning, Land & Development Fees

Planning, Land & Development Fees
(all fees are subject to applicable taxes)

Development Application Type

Base Fee

Additional Fee

Development Permit1

Development Variance Permit1

$2,500.00*

$1.00/m2 gross floor area

(non-residential)

$100.00/unit (residential)

Zoning Bylaw Amendment1

$5,000.00*

$0.10/m2 site area

Official Community Plan Amendment

$3,500.00*

N.A.

Land Use Contract Amendment

          Single Family Residential Lot

$2,500.00*

$300.00*

N.A.

N.A.

Restrictive Covenant Discharge Fee

$250.00

N.A.

Restrictive Covenant Prep/Registration

Actual Cost

Board of Variance Appeal

$250.00

N.A.

Comfort Letter

$190.48**

N.A.

Subdivision Applciation (Standard, Bare Land Strata, Strata Conversion and Phased Strata)

$2,000.00

$100.00 per unit or parcel created plus

$50.00 for final approval of the plans by the approving officer+

(There is a $100.00 credit per unit or parcel that previously existed, provided that no change in the property land usage occurs)

Telecommunications Antenna Application (where no public consultation is required under Telecommunications Antenna Policy)

$1,000.00

N.A.

Telecommunications Antenna (where public consultation is required under Telecommunications Antenna Policy)

$2,000.00

N.A.


1
Maximum $10,000.00 total application fee for each application type

* ½ of total fees refundable if application is refused/withdrawn prior to publishing or delivery of notices

** Per property or per fire incident

+
Pursuant to section 83 of the Land Title Act, RSBC, 1996, c. 250 and its amendments

Servicing Agreement
Before the final Development Permit, rezoning, or subdivision approval can be issued, a Servicing Agreement is required for any building construction project valued over $100,000. The Servicing Agreement is drafted by the City's Engineering Department based on the plans provided by the applicant's engineering consultant and the City infrastructure upgrade requirements the project would create. The Servicing Agreement must be signed by the applicant and returned to the Engineering Department, along with any other required materials, prior to project approval. In addition to security deposits that will vary based on estimated infrastructure construction costs as prepared by the applicant's engineering consultant, a non-refundable Inspection and Administration Fee based on these costs will apply as follows:
 

Servicing Agreement

Estimated Infrastructure Construction Costs

Fees Payable

< $100,000

6.0%

$100,000 to $250,000

5.5%

$250,001 to $500,000

5.0%

> $500,000

4.5%

 

Development Cost Charges (DCC) Bylaw
Development Cost Charges Fee Schedule

Development Cost Charges (DCCs) are fees charged to development approvals to provide for new infrastructure that becomes partially required as a result of new development. This includes improvements to piped infrastructure, roads, parks, and schools. Because there are multiple bodies that are responsible for funding and implementing this infrastructure, the City collects and distributes revenues on behalf of all of them. DCCs vary by the type and size of development, and the full cost breakdown is included in the DCC Fee Schdule above.

 

Application Forms

Find all the application forms you need tor your development proposal here.

Development Application Form
The Development Application Form is the main form required to apply for a Development Permit, a Development Variance Permit, a Zoning Bylaw Amendment, an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment, and a Land Use Contract (LUC) amendment. It also includes information on all the items and information required along with the application.

Subdivision Application Form
The Subdivision Application Form is required to be submitted when applying for any changes to legal property boundaries, including moving boundaries between lots, combining multiple lots, or dividing lots. The form also includes a checklist for associated materials that must be attached with the application.

Board of Variance Application Form
To make an appeal to the Board of Variance to obtain a minor variance from the Zoning Bylaw, this application form must be completed to describe your particular issue, which bylaw provision puts an undue hardship on your development proposal, and the variance from this provision that you would require.

Agent Authorization Form
The Agent Authorization Form is required when you employ a consultant or other third party to work with the City through the application process on your behalf. This confirms that you, as the landowner, give permission to the agent to communicate with the City, submit all required materials, and generally navigate the process in your place.

Sustainability Development Checklist
Completing the Sustainability Development Checklist may be required as part of your application. It includes a list of sustainability-related design and construction practices that can be incorporated into different development projects, and asks for the applicant to note which ones they will be implementing in their proposal. While the use of these sustainable practices is not required for development approval, it provides the applicant a chance to highlight the way they have considered sustainability in their project.

CPTED Development Checklist
A complete Community Protection through Environmental Design (CPTED) Development Checklist may be required when applying for development approval. It lists a variety of building and site design features that can make the final development and its surrounding area safer and more comfortable. It is intended to be reviewed by a qualified CPTED consultant that can recommend how a project's design can be adjusted to improve its crime prevention attributes. A demonstrated careful consideration of CPTED principles will be an important aspect of the City's overall review and approval of the development proposal.

Building

If your building proposal conforms to the existing zoning and is not located in a Development Permit Area, you may proceed directly to making a Building Permit application. To determine whether a Development Permit is also required, please explore the "Planning" section or contact staff in the Development Services Department. If a Development Permit was required, it would first need to be approved before an application for a Building Permit can be made.

Reference Materials

Residential Accessory Building Construction Guide
This guide is to assist with the Building Permit application process to construct an accessory building on an existing property having a single-family dwelling. An accessory building is defined in the City's Zoning Bylaw as "a building, the use of which is smaller, incidental and subordinate to that of the principal building or use situated on the same lot." Accessory buildings may include a garden or storage shed, workshop, detached garage, an in-ground swimming pool, or a retaining wall (over four feet high). An accessory building cannot include a residential suite or any other sort of living accommodation. This guide includes additional information on the design requirements of the accessory building, and the steps involved in the application process.

Guide for Signage
This guide provides the necessary information to make an application for a Sign Permit. This includes where signs are permitted, size and position regulations, and the documentation to be provided at the time of application.

Board of Variance Process Guide
The Board of Variance is an appeal process in which a homeowner may apply to be granted a minor variance to the Zoning Bylaw. It is intended to be used when a unique circumstance arises in which compliance with the Zoning Bylaw would cause undue hardship. This guide provides information on how to make a Board of Variance application.

Bylaws & Regulations

Building and Plumbing Bylaw
The Building and Plumbing Bylaw is the primary bylaw regulating construction within the City. It applies to the design, construction, and occupancy of new buildings and structures and the alteration, reconstruction, demolition, removal, and occupancy of existing buildings and structures. It also applies to plumbing fixtures and systems and fire suppression systems. The Bylaw includes detailed information regarding the documentation needed to make a Building Permit application, the responsibilities of the property owner, permit fees and charges, inspections, and how permits are enforced.

Sign Bylaw
The design and placement of all signs in Langley City is regulated by the Building Department through the Sign Bylaw. It provides information on where different types of signs are permitted by zoning, Sign Permit application requirements, and sign design requirements.

Water Meter Specifications
This document details Langley City's requirements for the installation of meters on City water services. It includes specifications outlining acceptable water meter types along with location and installation requirements. The applicant is responsible for the supply and installation of the meters and associated piping, chambers, and equipment on metered water services. The water meter information must be provided to the City's Engineering Department for review and acceptance prior to the installation and activation of the service.

Watercourse Protection Bylaw
The Watercourse Protection Bylaw outlines a set of regulations that must be followed during development to protect rivers and streams from any negative impact. It includes regulations regarding construction practices as well as a requirement for a Sediment Control Plan as part of construction projects.

Fees & Charges

Fees and Charges Bylaw
The Building Permit Schedule included in the City's Fees and Charges Bylaw contains a comprehensive list of costs that may be applicable to different building projects. This includes fee information on building construction, plumbing permits, fire sprinkler systems, building moves, demolition, alternative solutions, secondary suites, occupancy permits, and other applications.

Forms

Single Family Residential Application Form
This application form is required when applying for the construction of a new house, an addition to an existing house, renovations, the construction of a secondary suite, or the demolition of a building. It includes a checklist of the information and documentation which may be required as part of the application.

Commercial, Industrial, Multifamily, and Institutional New Buildings and Additions Application Form
This application form is required when applying for the construction of a new building or addition for commercial, industrial, multifamily residential, and institutional buildings or occupancies. It also includes a list of information to be provided, such as letters of assurance and sealed drawings, that may be required as part of your application.

Commercial, Industrial, Multifamily, and Institutional Tenant Improvement Application Form
This application form is required when an individual space within an existing commercial, industrial, multifamily residential, or industrial building is to have a change in occupancy or be altered or renovated. It also provides a list of items and documents that may be required as part of the application.

Sign Application Form
This application form is required when new signage or other display materials such as awnings or canopies are to be installed on a building. It includes a list describing the documents and drawings that may be required along with the application.

Fire Sprinkler Systems Application Form
This application form is required when installing a fire suppression system within a building.

Board of Variance Application Form
To make an appeal to the Board of Variance to obtain a minor variance from the Zoning Bylaw, this application form must be completed and include a letter outlining your particular issue and the reasoning behind why a variance to the Zoning Bylaw is justified.

Form 1: Owner's Acknowledgments
With this form, the owner of the property where construction is to take place acknowledges this responsibility to ensure all work is undertaken in accordance with the current edition of the BC Building Code and applicable City of Langley bylaws.

Form 2: Registered Professional's Proof of Insurance
This form is to be completed by a registered professional as defined in the BC Building Code and include a copy of their professional liability insurance.

Secondary Suite Removal Form
This form is required when a homeowner wishes to remove a secondary suite and include that area into the main house. The form includes information on the specific steps that need to be taken to confirm the removal of the suite.

Plumbing Permit Application Form
This form is required at the time of application for a plumbing permit.

Owner's Authorization to Release Drawings
This form is to be completed by a property owner to allow the City to provide any building plans or drawings it has of the property to a third party. If the building is part of a strata corporation, the form must be filled out by an authorized signatory for the strata.

Agent Authorization Form
The Agent Authorization Form is required when a consultant or other third party is acting on behalf of the property owner for the purpose of a Building Permit application. The authorization form gives permission to the agent to communicate with the City, submit all required documentation, and generally navigate the application process on your behalf.

LSP 1 Form (Fire Sprinkler System Contractor's Declaration)
This form must be completed by a certified fire sprinkler installer, and a Professional Engineer depending on the specific works proposed. It outlines the work or modifications to the fire suppression system for the City's consideration.

LSP 2 Form (Fire Sprinkler System Engineering Declaration)
This form must be completed by a Professional Engineer to describe any fire sprinkler system modifications necessary as part of a Building Permit.

Backflow Prevention Assembly Test Report
Backflow Prevention Assembly Repair Test Report

Backflow Prevention Test Reports are required when a testable backflow device is installed due to possible cross contamination of a potable water system.

Brownfield Redevelopment

The redevelopment of brownfield land, which is land that may be contaminated as a result of previous industrial or commercial uses, is a major planning priority for Langley City. This can create tremendous opportunity for landowners and developers to take an underused property and substantially improve its revenue potential and property value.

Brownfield redevelopment also allows for investors to take advantage of often great locations, save on existing road and piped infrastructure, get access to brownfield-specific funding and incentives, and create economic spin-offs by attracting more residents and businesses surrounding the redevelopment. In fact, Brownfield Renewal BC found that brownfield redevelopment often leads to property value increases of 5% to 15% as far as 1.2 km away from the redevelopment. Select "impact" projects, usually involving change from industrial use to parks or mixed use developments, have been documented to raise nearby property values by over 100%.

Langley City has an existing assortment of successful brownfield redevelopment projects, both residential and commercial, and we are excited to support more investment opportunities in the future.

Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy

Brownfield Redevelopment Brochure
Brownfield Redevelopment Presentation
Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy

To support our goal of encouraging brownfield redevelopment in Langley City, we worked with Colliers International to create an award-winning Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy. This strategy identifies the City's existing brownfield lands along with the potential barriers to their redevelopment, compiles an overview of related federal and provincial strategies, and recommends supporting actions that could be taken by the City to encourage brownfield redevelopment.

Resources

Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund – Brownfield Funding
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities provides financial support for brownfield redevelopment through its Green Municipal Fund program. Multiple applicable projects are supported, including studies, pilot projects, and capital projects on site remediation, brownfield redevelopment, and renewable energy production on brownfields. Simply search for "brownfield" at the link and find the program for you.

BC Brownfields Webpage
BC Basics of Brownfield Redevelopment Guide

The BC provincial government has its own information page on brownfields and their redevelopment, and implemented a provincial brownfield strategy from 2008 to 2014. Follow this page for the latest brownfield information available from the provincial government.

The BC government also has a "Basics of Brownfield Redevelopment" guide available. It includes an overview of the specific considerations and challenges involved in brownfield redevelopment, how local governments and the Province can support it, how provincial environmental policies may be involved, and lists a set of resources that may support brownfield redevelopment plans and projects.

Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) Brownfield Redevelopment Guide
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has its own informational guide on redeveloping brownfields, largely targeted to realtors. It includes similar information as the other sources highlighted here but from an industry perspective. Topics include why brownfield redevelopment is unique, how it can be supported, examples of Canadian success stories, and a list of additional information sources.

Brownfield Awards & Testimonials

Langley City Brownfield Testimonial Letters
Langley City's Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy and associated policies have been celebrated by a range of business and government groups. In addition to the many testimonials available at the link above, we have received the following awards:

  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM): Green Champion Award
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM): Sustainable Communities Award
  • Canadian Urban Institute (CUI): Brownie Award
  • British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA): Community Project Award – Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy