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Preliminary Plan Approval (PPA)

Preliminary Plan Approval (PPA) is an approval granted by the Director Planning and Building indicating that a proposed development meets all the applicable requirements of the Zoning Bylaw. It is not a Building Permit. A Building Permit must be applied for separately and will not be issued unless a proposed development has received Preliminary Plan Approval.

Section 7.3 of the Zoning Bylaw states that in general, Preliminary Plan Approval is required whenever there is a change of use, density or external appearance proposed for a property. This can be in the form of a new land use, building or structures, or in the form of an addition or alteration to an existing land use, building or structure. All commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-family residential developments need PPA before a Building Permit can be issued. Single family and two family dwellings do not require PPA.

The PPA Approval Process

Prior to submitting an application for preliminary plan approval, it is suggested that you contact the Planning Division to discuss the PPA process including:

  • the existing zoning regulations that apply to the subject property
  • the type of information that is required in support of an application

Who is involved in the PPA process?

The Director Planning and Building is responsible for granting a PPA. The Director will utilize the resources of the department in considering PPA applications.

The Planning Division coordinates the PPA process by preparing its own evaluation of the proposed development as well as liaising with the other applicable City departments. Another major role the Division plays in the process is to assist the applicant in satisfying the various requirements of the process.

Depending upon the proposed development, the Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Fire, Building Division, Fraser Health Authority and/or other City departments may be consulted for input, for issuance of the PPA.

What is the Process?

The City of Burnaby has prepared this Preliminary Plan Approval Guide to assist you in understanding the City’s PPA procedure. Upon review of the material, anyone intending to submit an application is urged to contact the Planning Division of the Planning and Building Department for further information.

Prior to submitting a PPA application consider the following:

Related Policies

Useful Links

How Much Time Does the Process Take?

The amount of time to process an application for Preliminary Plan Approval is largely dependent upon the complexity of the application. In addition, the time frame is affected by how well you respond to meeting the requirements established by City Council and the Planning Division.

Applications that involve rezoning and/or subdivision will require additional time depending upon the time required to complete the rezoning or subdivision process. PPA submissions can be made after second reading of a rezoning bylaw amendment and/or the subdivision process is completed. Supplying the correct information to the Planning Division, consistent with rezoning and/or subdivision documents, will expedite the processing of the application.

If the PPA application is associated with a comprehensive rezoning application for new development, the application can be submitted after the rezoning has received second reading, and is close to Third Reading.  Please contact your rezoning planner for drawing submission requirements. 

What are the Next Steps in the Development Approval Process?

Every development proposal will require additional approvals before development can proceed. The applicant should make note of the following:

Building Permit

Building Permit is required for the construction of new buildings or structures and/or additions or alterations to existing buildings or structures. It is advisable to contact the Building Division to consult for the submission requirements. Electrical, plumbing or other permits may be required for site improvements not involving buildings of structures.

Tree Permit

Tree Permit is required for cutting down (or damaging) protected tree(s).

More information?

If you have questions on the PPA process, please contact the Planning Department.

While every care is taken in the preparation of this webpage, the City of Burnaby assumes no responsibility or liability in respect of this content. This information is intended as a guide only and is not a legal document. The public is advised to review the applicable legislation and bylaws and conduct its own enquiries with City staff.
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Preliminary Plan Approval Guide