Development Services

DEPARTMENT INFORMATION
BUILDING, SAFETY & INSPECTION SERVICES
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
MAPS

Development Services Department

Development Services is responsible for land use, zoning, land development, building and building inspections in the City of Merritt.

The department consists of the Building, Safety & Inspection and Planning & Development teams.

The department’s staff can assist you when applying for building permits, building and safety inspections, demolition permits, plumbing permits, sign permits, address changes, agricultural land reserve applications, development permits, development variance permits, OCP amendments, rezoning, strata conversions, and subdivision applications.

Quarterly Reports

These reports currently do not exist yet. They will be created by Development Services and Economic Development, and published every 3 months.

Planning & Development Statistics

Planning stats currently do not exist yet. They will be published on a monthly basis, similar to Building statistics.

Contact

Development Services Office

Phone: 250-378-8615
Email: planning@merritt.ca

Don McArthur

Planning and Development Manager

Phone: 250-378-8620
Email: dmcarthur@merritt.ca

Alan Palmgren, RBO

Building Inspector

Phone: 250-378-8622
Email: building@merritt.ca

Vision 2030

Merritt is a clean, recreation-based, energy self-sufficient community interconnected with multi-use greenways and a range of housing for an ideal population of 15,000 people.

Key aspects of this vision include:

  • A city that continues to grow up in density instead of out through urban sprawl;
  • An extensive greenway system containing streets with multi-use pathways, bike lanes, wide sidewalks and pedestrian trails, street trees and parks, which is connected to community amenities, commercial areas, transit and the regional trail system;
  • Attractive developments which are complemented by enhancements to the public realm, street trees and green public spaces;
  • An effective and economical public transit system;
  • A vibrant, diversified economy, focused on transportation & warehousing, technology, entertainment, tourism, agriculture & forestry, health & wellness, and construction & real estate;
  • Three distinct commercial areas: City Centre, Gateway 286 and Gateway 290;
  • A commitment to manageable and “whole picture” growth and development of the entire community.

Development Services department staff are actively working with developers and residents to make the community’s vision come to life.

The City of Merritt is currently revising the Official Community Plan (OCP), including the community’s vision. To find out how to participate, please visit the OCP Update webpage:

The OCP is a mid to long term document with policy direction, The OCP also contains Development Permit Areas and the associated guidelines in specified locations around the City.

Building, Safety & Inspection Services

The Building, Safety & Inspection team processes building, demolition, plumbing and sign permits, and conducts building and safety inspections.

Building Permits

A building permit is required for new construction or renovations. Any building over 100 sq ft requires a permit before the work starts.

There are a limited number of structures which may not require a building permit:

  • Accessory buildings under 100 sq ft;
  • Fences, sidewalks, planters
  • Construction of a retaining wall less than one (1) metre in height;
  • Painting, decorating and general maintenance;
  • Minor repairs using similar or same materials for maintenance which do not affect any electrical or mechanical work.

While a Building Permit may not be required, construction, exterior renovations or landscaping may require a Development Permit, and installation of signage may require a Sign Permit. Please check with the Development Services Department first if you are thinking of building or renovating.

Building & Safety Inspections

If you’re building, renovating or adding a secondary suite to your home, you may require an inspection. To schedule an inspection, please contact the Development Services department.

Information Resources & Application Forms

Contact

Development Services Office

Phone: 250-378-8615
Email: planning@merritt.ca

Building Inspector

Alan Palmgren, RBO
Telephone: 250-378-4224
Direct line: 250-378-8622
Email: building@merritt.ca

Additional Information

For electrical or gas permits, please contact your local Technical Safety BC office to obtain further information:
Phone: 1-866-566-7233
Email: contact@technicalsafetybc.ca
Address: 1278A Dalhousie Drive Kamloops BC V2C 6G3
Website: www.technicalsafetybc.ca/permits

For building and development outside City limits, please contact the TNRD:
Phone: 250-377-8673
Website: www.tnrd.ca

Planning & Development

The Planning & Development team is responsible for current and long range planning, including the processing of applications for address changes, agricultural land reserve, development, development variance, OCP amendment, rezoning, strata conversion and subdivision, and the creation and enforcement of development policy, such as the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw.

Current Planning

Rezoning

If your planned development does not conform with the zoning of the property, you will require a rezoning. The rezoning process involves Council approval, and includes a public hearing. The City’s Zoning Map can be found below in the Maps section.

Rezoning Process

  • Step 1 – Research OCP and Zoning regulations, Contact Development Services, and Engage a designer.
  • Step 2 – Submit the application form with the proposed site plan and rendering, and pay fees.
  • Step 3 – Planning staff will coordinate the creation of signage which must be posted on the subject property to inform the community of the proposed rezoning.
  • Step 4 – Application is reviewed by the Planning & Development team.
  • Step 5 – Planning staff forward the application to other departments and outside agencies for referral.
  • Step 6 – If revisions are required, you will be notified of the necessary changes.
  • Step 7 – Planning staff present Report to Council, requesting 1st and 2nd Reading.
  • Step 8 – If the application receives 1st & 2nd, a Public Hearing is scheduled and advertised by City staff.
  • Step 9 – You will need to update the sign on the property by adding the Public Hearing date.
  • Step 10 – The Public Hearing is held. Council can opt to give the rezoning 3rd Reading or defer to a future date.
  • Step 11 – If 3rd Reading is received, and where applicable, the proposed rezoning is forwarded to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for review.
  • Step 12 – If MOTI approves, Planning staff bring a report to Council to request final adoption.
  • Step 13 – Following approval, you must remove the signage from the property and your sign deposit is refunded.

Processing times for rezonings vary depending on the complexity of the project, completeness of the application and the number of applications currently being processed. In general, rezonings are completed within 4 – 6 months of receipt of a complete application.

Note: Subdivision or Development Permit applications will be accepted concurrently with Rezoning applications.

Subdivision

The City’s Subdivision & Development Servicing Bylaw and Zoning Bylaw set out the regulations for subdivisions. Subdivision applications are reviewed by Planning staff.

Subdivision Process

  • Step 1 – Research OCP, Zoning and Subdivision & Development Servicing regulations, Contact Development Services, and Engage a surveyor.
  • Step 2 – Submit the application form with a sketch plan, and pay fees.
  • Step 3 – Application is reviewed by the Planning & Development team.
  • Step 4 – Planning staff forward the application to other departments and outside agencies for referral. Complex proposals may also be sent out for engineering and/ or legal review.
  • Step 5 – Planning staff draft a Preliminary Layout Review (PLR) letter, which outlines the conditions that are required to receive approval.
  • Step 6 – Upon completion of all PLR conditions, Planning staff will request that your surveyor prepare a final plan for deposit.
  • Step 7 – Once the final plan and corresponding Land Titles form are received, Planning staff will review the final plan and sign the form.
  • Step 8 – You or your lawyer must register the final plan at Land Titles.

Processing times for subdivisions vary depending on the complexity of the project, completeness of the application, the time you require to complete the PLR conditions, and the number of applications currently being processed. In general, subdivisions are approved within 4 – 12 months of receipt of a complete application.

Note: PLR conditions must be achieved within one year. If you require additional time, you can apply for a one-time PLR extension of one additional year, which will be considered by Planning staff.

Development Permits

If you plan to build a multiple unit residential, commercial or industrial development, you may require a Development Permit (DP). DPs are processed by Planning staff. The Development Permit Areas Map can be found below in the Maps section.

Development Permit Process

  • Step 1 – Research OCP and Zoning regulations, Contact Development Services, and Engage a designer.
  • Step 2 – Submit application form with site plan, landscape plan, and elevation drawings, and pay fees.
  • Step 3 – Planning staff will coordinate the creation of signage which must be installed on the subject property to notify the community of the proposed development.
  • Step 3 – Application is reviewed by the Planning & Development team.
  • Step 4 – Planning staff forward the application to other departments and outside agencies for referral.
  • Step 5 – If revisions are required, you will be notified of the necessary changes.
  • Step 6 – Permit is issued, enabling processing of your Building Permit.
  • Step 7 – Following permit issuance, you must remove the signage from the property and your sign deposit is refunded.
  • Step 8 – Planning staff register the DP at Land Titles.

Processing times for DPs vary depending on the complexity of the project, completeness of the application and the number of applications currently being processed. In general, DPs are issued within 2 – 3 months of receipt of a complete application.

Note: Building Permit applications will be accepted concurrently with Development Permit applications. However, the Building Permit cannot be issued until the Development Permit process is completed.

Development Variance Permit

If your planned development does not comply with bylaw regulations, including the Zoning Bylaw or Subdivision & Development Servicing Bylaw, you can apply for a variance (DVP). Council will decide whether to approve the permit.

Development Variance Permit Process

  • Step 1 – Research OCP and Zoning regulations, Contact Development Services, and Engage a designer.
  • Step 2 – Submit application form with proposed site plan or other drawings that illustrate the proposed variance, and pay fees.
  • Step 3 – Application is reviewed by the Planning & Development team.
  • Step 4 – Planning staff forward the application to other departments and outside agencies for referral.
  • Step 5 – If revisions are required, you will be notified of the necessary changes.
  • Step 6 – Planning staff mail information on the proposed variance to neighbouring property owners and tenants, who may provide written comment or present in-person at the Council hearing.
  • Step 6 – Planning staff present Report to Council.
  • Step 7 – If the variance is approved by Council, Planning staff will issue the Permit.
  • Step 8 – Planning staff register the DVP at Land Titles.

Processing times for DVPs vary depending on the complexity of the project, completeness of the application and the number of applications currently being processed. In general, variances are completed within 2 – 3 months of receipt of a complete application.

Note: Development Permit applications will be accepted concurrently with Development Variance Permit applications.

Information Resources & Application Forms

For any planning related inquiries, or to submit an application, please contact Development Services.

Contact

Development Services Office

Phone: 250-378-8615
Email: planning@merritt.ca

Don McArthur

Planning and Development Services Manager
Phone: 250-378-8620
Email: dmcarthur@merritt.ca

Long Range Planning

Official Community Plan

The Official Community Plan (OCP) is the City of Merritt’s overarching policy document. It includes a 20-year vision for the community and provides direction on land use, infrastructure, economic development, parks, transportation and emergency services.

The OCP is currently being revised.

(More information available soon)

Zoning Bylaw

The Zoning Bylaw provides specific regulations for building and
development, including where a building can be located, the
building’s maximum height and size, landscaping and parking
requirements, and other provisions that reflect the City’s vision,
values and sustainability goals.

Go to Bylaws

Active Transportation Plan

The City of Merritt is committed to improving walking, biking, and other active mobility options and recently launched the development of an Active Transportation Plan – a first for our community. The Plan will set the foundation for developing well-connected, attractive active transportation networks that are safe, convenient, and user-friendly, no matter what mode of transportation people use.

Active Transportation Plan

North Bench Neighbourhood Development Plan

(More information available soon)

Maps

All the development maps can be found on the Maps page.

This page also includes an interactive mapping tool containing Development Services information.

Go to Maps