Development Services & Engineering


The Department of Development Services & Engineering oversees planning, subdivision, sustainability initiatives, building inspection and business license services. This department is responsible for ensuring that land and buildings are developed in an orderly and safe manner, taking into consideration social, environmental, economic and cultural factors.

The Department of Development Services & Engineering administers the following:

  • processing building and plumbing permits
  • processing applications related to the development of land and buildings including development permits, development variance permits, and approvals granted through the Board of Variance
  • processing amendments to the Official Community Plan and Land Use Regulation Bylaw
  • issuing permits for signage and fa├žade changes
  • evaluating business license applications (to ensure proposals meet the Land Use Regulation Bylaw and Building Code)

Relevant development application forms are available on the Applications & Forms page.

Staff are available to assist with inquiries regarding building permits and development within the city between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Feel free to make an appointment to ensure the Staff member you want to see is available.

Hard copies of Building Permit Applications and Land Development Applications can be submitted Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Second Floor, City Hall. Electronic copies of Building Permit Applications and Land Development Applications can also be submitted by email, to When submitting applications, please ensure that you have provided the necessary attachments to ensure that the processing of applications is not delayed.

For information on developing outside of City limits, please contact the Department of Development Services at the Central Kootenay Regional District.

Getting Started

In order to help you quickly find the information you need, the Development Services & Engineering website is divided into five general categories:

  1. Community Planning
  2. Development Services
  3. Building & Plumbing Permits & Inspections
  4. Sustainability
  5. Business Licence

Within each of these categories, there are a number of different items providing information as well as descriptions of processes and applications. Also included are relevant maps and links to City bylaws, applications & forms, and publications & reports.

Community Planning can help you:


  • learn about Nelson's Official Community Plan, which guides planning and decision-making in the City and provides a framework for moving forward in a coordinated and sustainable manner.
  • if you need information about heritage planning.
  • if you need maps of Nelson showing city limits, civic addresses, zoning, land use designations, and more.

Development Services can help you:

  • if you need information regarding the zoning of properties, and how this affects the uses permitted on a property and the building and structures that can be constructed on it.
  • if you need information regarding property subdivision.
  • if you need information on Development Permit application and approval processes.
  • if you need information on development variance application and approval processes necessary if your proposed development is not permitted under current land use regulations.
  • if you need information on secondary suites.
  • if you need information on application and approval processes for signs and murals.
  • if you need information on how development applications are processed.
  • if you need to access recent applications to amend the Official Community Plan and/or the Land Use Regulation Bylaw.
  • if you need local government support for a new or amended liquor licence for a liquor-primary establishment.

Building & Plumbing Permits & Inspections can help you:

Sustainability can help you:

Business Licence can help you:

  • if you need an annual business licence, or need to make changes to your licence.

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