Development Permits & Signage
- Area 1 - General Commercial, Industrial & Multi-Unit Residential
- Area 2 - Downtown and Waterfront
- Area 3 - Natural Environment and Hazardous Lands
The City of Nelson has developed the Development Permit Area Design Guidelines [PDF - 5.8 MB] to assist in the task of explaining and regulating the visual quality of building design, site considerations, and landscaping within these permit areas. It is recommended that you consult these guidelines prior to formalizing design plans.
Development Variance Permits
Development Variance Permits can be applied for to vary requirements of City bylaws including the Land Use Regulation Bylaw 2243, 1987. Development Variance Permits are typically applied for when a proposed development does not meet setback requirements, height requirements or parking requirements. As per the Local Government Act, variances cannot be used to vary use or density.
All variances are granted by resolution of Nelson City Council. Approval from appropriate government agencies, such as the Ministry of Transportation and Highways, may also be required.
Board of Variance
A local government that has adopted a Zoning Bylaw must establish a Board of Variance. The City of Nelson has a Board of Variance comprised of three members. The Board of Variance focuses primarily on hardship relating to matters such as siting, dimensions and size of buildings. A person may apply to the Board of Variance if they feel compliance with the bylaw may cause them hardship.
Signage & Murals
The City of Nelson Sign Regulation Bylaw 2027, 1983 regulates the type, size and number of signs permitted. All signage within Downtown requires a Development Permit and some types of signage MAY ALSO require a Building Permit. Any signage outside of the downtown core requires a Building Permit. We encourage you to contact staff to discuss your proposal before making an application.
Applications for murals are referred to the Cultural Development Commission for review in accordance with Development Permit Guidelines, Mural Policy [PDF - 15 KB].
All Sandwich Boards within the downtown core also require a permit. To apply for a Sandwich Board, please fill out a Sandwich Board Application and submit to the Department of Development Services & Sustainability between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m Monday thru Friday. Please review the Sign Permit Sandwich Boards Policy 4520-00-005 for design and size requirements. The appropriate fee is found within the Fees and Charges Bylaw.
To apply for a Development Permit or a Development Variance Permit, please fill out the a Development Application Form and submit with the appropriate fee to the Department of Development Services and Sustainability, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications may also be submitted in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants must contact Nelson Hydro for electrical servicing requirements.
Review by City Commissions and Design Consultants
Applications to amend the Official Community Plan and/or Zoning require review by the Advisory Planning Commission prior to proceeding to Council. Some Development Permit applications, such as facade changes to heritage buildings or within the City's downtown core may be referred by staff to an external design consultant for review. Please contact City Staff for additional information.Go to Top