Preliminary Plan Approval

Learn about Preliminary Plan Approval and how to apply for one

Preliminary Plan Approval (PPA) is granted by the Director, Planning and Building when a proposed development meets all the applicable zoning bylaw requirements or rezoning amendment bylaw.

You'll need a PPA when you propose a change of use, an increase in permitted floor area or a property's external appearance. The changes can be in the form of a new land use, building or structure–or of an addition or alteration to an existing land use, building or structure. All commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-family residential developments require a PPA–single and two-family dwellings do not.

Preparing your application

You're encouraged to contact the Planning Department before you submit your PPA application and get clarity on:

  • existing zoning regulations that apply to the subject property
  • information you'll need for your application

The Preliminary Plan Approval guide will help you through the process. You may also want to explore the following documents:

Approval process

The Planning Department starts the process by preparing an evaluation of the proposed development and circulating plans to other City departments—engineering, environmental engineering, fire, building, Fraser Health Authority—to get their input.

The time it takes to process a PPA depends largely on the complexity of the application. You can expedite the process by ensuring the information you provide on your PPA forms is accurate and complete and responding promptly and thoroughly to the requirements outlined in the Burnaby Zoning Bylaw and set by the Planning Department. 

Next steps

Every development proposal needs additional approvals before it can proceed. For example:

You'll need a building permit to construct new buildings or structures or make additions or alterations to existing buildings or structures. Electrical, plumbing or other permits may also be required.

You need a PPA before you can apply for any building permit, except in the case of single and two-family buildings and tenant improvements that don't require a change of use.

View permits

A tree permit is required if the proposal involves cutting down (or damaging) protected tree(s).

Have questions?

Planning General Inquiries

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