Development Services

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The primary focus of the Development Services Department is to assist Council with managing growth and development. The overriding principle with respect to growth management is to ensure new development complies with the provisions of the Official Community Plan and is congruent with the District's long-range fiscal and other plans and policies. To that end, development standards are held high. All new development is expected to achieve those standards and add to the fabric of the community. The work of the Development Services Department is ultimately linked to the quality of life of our residents. In addition, the Department is a resource to other departments and provides information to the public and business sectors on economic development and growth-related activities.

The Development Services Department's responsibilities encompass several service areas: Long-Range Policy Planning, Development Review, Subdivision Approval,  Building Permits and Inspections, and Bylaw Enforcement Related to Land Use.

Contact Information


Long-Range Policy Planning

The Official Community Plan is a municipal planning document that presents a long-range vision for Coldstream and the steps necessary to achieve that vision through policies respecting existing and future land uses, infrastructure, public facilities, and areas with special conditions. The Official Community Plan and supporting documents provide guidance to the public, the business community, the development community, District staff, and Council. All applications for development are reviewed in the context of the Official Community Plan.

Development Review

Through various application processes, the development review function results in recommendations being forwarded to Council. Applications submitted to the Director of Development Services include Official Community Plan amendments, Zoning Bylaw amendments, Development Permits, Development Variance Permits, and Temporary Commercial and Industrial Permits.

Agricultural Land Reserve application forms and applicant information package are available at the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission website or by contacting the Development Services Department.

The Building Official is responsible for processing Watercourse Development Permit applications for development adjacent to watercourses and waterbodies.


Subdivision Approval

The Approving Officer reviews all subdivision applications to ensure compliance with the Provincial Land Title Act and related legislation, the District's Official Community Plan, Zoning Bylaw, and Subdivision, Development and Servicing Bylaw. Subdivision includes the creation of several properties from one or more existing properties, the realignment of existing property lines, and the consolidation of two or more properties into one.

Bylaw Enforcement Related to Land Use

Please contact the Bylaw Enforcement Officer regarding bylaw enforcement on issues related to land use (e.g. secondary suites), by phone 250-545-5304 or email

Advisory Planning Commission

The Advisory Planning Commission acts in an advisory capacity to Council on matters related to land use, community planning, and proposed bylaws and permits.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is my property zoned, and if so, what is the zoning of my property?
All properties within the District of Coldstream are affected by the Zoning Bylaw. You can check the Zoning map on the Regional District of North Okanagan website or call the District of Coldstream to ask about your property. Please note that the Zoning map is updated on an ongoing basis and all reasonable attempts are made to keep it up to date. The District of Coldstream and Regional District of North Okanagan do not guarantee that the map is up to date. Certified copies of the Zoning Bylaw are available from the District of Coldstream Director of Corporate Administration at 250-545-5304 or email

2. Can I have a secondary suite?
One secondary suite is permitted for each parcel with the Agricultural Land Reserve, and the secondary suite can only occur within a single family dwelling. Secondary suites are not permitted in a two family dwelling nor within any accessory buildings.

3. Can I get a 'plot plan' of a certain property?
No, not from the District of Coldstream.  However, copies of records from the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia, such as land titles, documents or plans, can be obtained by using the services of any registry agent in BC (consult or title services in the Yellow Pages), real property lawyer, notary public, or land surveyor.  Customers can also order titles to land or strata plans online through the myLTSA Explorer service at  The public can also call 1-877-577-5872 to learn how to mail records requests along with payment to the LTSA.

4. Can I subdivide my property?
As specified in the Zoning Bylaw, each property has regulations with respect to permitted uses, lot area, frontage and other considerations. Depending upon the zoning, size and frontage, your property may be suitable for subdivision. Additional considerations apply to properties within the Agricultural Land Reserve. As with any form of development, proponents are responsible for costs which include, but are not limited to, application fees, development cost charges, on-site upgrades, inspection fees, and off-site upgrades. We suggest that you contact the Director of Development Services to discuss the matter. If you are unfamiliar with municipal approvals, we suggest you retain the services of a professional who can assist you with the process.

5. How do I have input into land use decisions in the community and in my neighbourhood?
Depending upon the type of development, residents have a range of opportunities to provide their input. With respect to major reviews of the Official Community Plan, residents can participate in surveys, workshops and Public Hearings. For amendments to the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw, residents can provide input to Council at the Public Hearing - either in person or in writing. These particular bylaw amendments are advertised in the local newspaper and on the District website, and notice is sent to adjacent land owners for site-specific bylaw amendments.

We welcome residents to provide input on any community issue at any time. You can call for an appointment at 250-545-5304 to see the Director of Development Services or other staff members. Alternatively, you can email for land use related topics.

6. How do I get my land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR)?
Land within the ALR   is under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission (PALC). Applications for exclusions or subdivision are made to the District of Coldstream. Coldstream Council then considers the application and either does not support the application or sends it to the PALC   for adjudication We suggest that you review the PALC website to become familiar with the process or retain the services of a professional who can assist you.


Frequently Asked Questions-Permits

1. Building Permits, Development Permits, and Development Variance Permits - What’s the difference?

Building Permits are issued under the authority of the Building and Plumbing Bylaw. A building permit review is a check to see whether or not the building or structure being built complies with the British Columbia Building Code. If a proposed building meets the construction requirements, the land is properly zoned for the proposed use, meets the zoning requirements such as building height or property setback and meets the requirement of the Building Code the District is obligated to issue a building permit.

Development Permits are intended to supplement the building requirements contained in the zoning bylaw. Development permit guidelines can deal with matters not usually found in the zoning bylaw such as the style and colour of a building, or landscaping requirements. Guidelines can also deal with environmental issues such as protecting natural habitat. Development Permit Areas are designated in the District’s Official Community Plan (OCP). If a development proposal meets the development guidelines set out in the OCP a land owner is entitled to a Development Permit. Public input is not required when Council is considering a Development Permit. A Development Permit cannot be refused based on public concerns; it can only be refused if the development does not comply with the permit area guidelines.

Development Variance Permits authorize development that does not meet the zoning requirements for a particular zone. For example Council can authorize construction of a building that is higher than permitted in the zoning bylaw. If Council is considering a development variance permit, notification to neighbouring property owners, consistent with the District’s Development Procedure Bylaw, is required. Currently neighbours within 30 metres of the subject property are to be notified. Approval of a Development Variance Permit is optional. Council can refuse the request if they feel that the development is inappropriate. Council is not required to turn down a variance request if the neighbours are opposed to it.

2. What if the bylaws change after I apply for a Building Permit?

If you have applied for building permit you are allowed to complete the process and construct the building. These types of buildings are considered non-conforming.

3. What if Council has directed a bylaw change before I apply for a permit?

If Council has passed a resolution to change the zoning bylaw, people have seven (7) days from the date of the resolution to submit an application to have it considered under the existing rules. If the application is compliant with the BC Building Code and the District’s existing Zoning Bylaw, regulations and policies, the permit must be issued.

People can continue to apply for building permits even if Council is going to change the bylaw. If after seven (7) days a building permit application is submitted that will conflict with the new regulation, Council can order that the building permit not be issued. This gives Council time to complete the process of changing the bylaw. If for whatever reason Council does not adopt the new bylaw within 90 days, the municipality can be held liable for damages suffered by the applicant.


The District of Coldstream
9901 Kalamalka Road
Coldstream, BC V1B 1L6
Tel: (250) 545-5304
Fax: (250) 545-4733
Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Closed on Statutory Holidays
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