Green Building & Land Development

Learn about the different kinds of approvals you need to develop or change land use in Burnaby

The Planning Department coordinates development applications, including those for rezoning, subdivision and preliminary plan approval (PPA). Submit your application to the Planning Department for review, including applications for a relaxation to the development setback required per the Streamside Protection and Enhancement Areas Bylaw (Zoning Bylaw Section 6.23).

Phone: 604-294-7400
Email: [email protected]

Submit development applications for single and two-family homes (with no associated rezoning, subdivision or PPA) to the building department.

Phone: 604-294-7130
Email: [email protected]

Climate Action and Energy Department is responsible for ensuring development projects achieve the following:

  1. Protect and improve the health and quality of the environment.
  2. Ensure compliance with municipal standards, codes, bylaws and applicable provincial and federal regulations and acts for the following development applications: rezoning, subdivision/consolidation, strata title, preliminary plan approval, building plan, liquor licence application and the contaminated sites process (per the Environmental Management Act).

Additional requirements may be requested for review. 

Phone: 604-294-7850
Email: [email protected]

Additional requirements

Your land development must also be compliant with the following requirements:

In BC, the Provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy manages contaminated sites per the Environmental Management Act and Contaminated Sites Regulations.

Per new changes by the Ministry of Environment, the City of Burnaby now requires a Site Disclosure Statement along with any Rezoning, Subdivision and Building Permit applications (except internal renovation) with current zoning of commercial and industrial sites (including non-conformant sites), or as requested by staff. 

Helpful resources

The City has policies to prevent silt-laden runoff in construction sites from entering the downstream drainage system and ending up in creeks and lakes.

All construction projects in Burnaby must contact the Climate Action and Energy Department on whether a Sediment Control Permit is required.

To preserve groundwater as a resource and prevent contamination, flooding and sanitary system overflow and groundwater flows must not enter the storm and sanitary sewer systems.

All development applications that involve constructing permanent structures below the water table, including perched, static and artesian aquifers, must include an assessment/investigation of the impact of the proposed activity on groundwater. You must also demonstrate that the proposed works will not impact neighbouring properties or the environment. You may need to include in-situ (in the original place) management of the groundwater and recommendations to address areas of uncertainty or concern.

Learn more about the requirements for groundwater management.

Multi-family residential, commercial, industrial and institutional complexes must meet the City's solid waste and recycling requirements.

Acoustical requirements address the growing population and densification of urban centres while ensuring the health and lifestyle concerns of the community.

Rezoning applications involving the construction of residential units or livable spaces must include an acoustical study of the sound implications at the proposed site. The building must comply with the acoustic engineer's recommendations.

Learn more about the acoustic requirements.

Green buildings

Buildings are a significant source of carbon emissions in Burnaby. To achieve our carbon reduction targets, we're reducing emissions by adopting BC Energy Step Code requirements.

We're transitioning to net-zero emissions in new buildings.

Requirements for new large buildings - Part 3

  • Buildings over 3 storeys or 600 sq. m, including those with residential, business, personal services and mercantile occupancies, are considered Part 3 buildings. Energy modelling and air tightness testing (step 1 in the Energy Step Code) applies to all new building permits for applicable Part 3 buildings.
  • For projects seeking rezoning, buildings must also meet step 3 of the Energy Step Code Or Step 2 with a low-carbon energy system and greenhouse gas emission limits.

Learn more

New small residential buildings - Part 9

  • Buildings with residential occupancies that are 3 storeys or less and have a floor area of less than 600 sq. m are considered Part 9 residential buildings. Examples include single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes, rowhouses and small apartments.
  • All new building permit applications must meet Step 1 of the Energy Step Code, which requires builders to engage an energy advisor early in the process, undertake energy modelling and air tightness testing.
  • Additional administrative requirements include an extra mid-construction airtightness test and building energy labelling.

Learn more

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