Development Permits Application Process

The Development Permit process helps us ensure that all new projects are consistent with the vision and goals of UBC land use and sustainability plans, and meets the standards set by regulations such as the Development Handbook, BC Building Code and BC Fire Code.

About the Process

There are two types of development at UBC:

  1. Institutional development relates to UBC’s core academic mission in the institutional campus, such as the construction of teaching and research facilities and student residences.
  2. Neighbourhood or non-institutional development includes housing, community and commercial developments within the campus neighbourhoods.

Learn more about Types of Projects and Development at UBC


When we receive a development permit application for an institutional or non-institutional project, we assess the proposed project’s adherence to the relevant land use policy and planning documents.

Academic Land

On campus academic lands, the Land Use Plan, the Vancouver Campus Plan and the Green Building Action Plan are applied.

Neighbourhood Land

For university neighbourhood areas, relevant documents are the Land Use Plan, the associated Neighbourhood Plans, Green Building Action Plan and the Development Handbook

Public Realm

For changes to the design of the public space, the Land Use Plan, Vancouver Campus Plan, Green Building Action Plan, and Public Realm Plan serve as guiding documents.

Public Feedback and Advisory Input

After this initial review, a Public Open House is held for the project, attended by Campus and Community Planning staff and the applicant team. The public is invited to review and provide feedback on the architectural, landscape, and context plans. Feedback received is provided to the applicants and project reviewers, giving them the chance to adjust plans in response to new concerns or ideas.

Additionally, all major applications are also reviewed by two university advisory bodies: the Advisory Urban Design Panel and the Development Review Committee. 

The Development Permit process involves an initial review of your application by the Director of Planning and the Manager of Development Services.

Depending on whether your project involves developing institutional land or neighbourhood land at UBC, the approval process will move forward as follows:


Please contact the Development Services to schedule a meeting to introduce your project prior to submitting a formal Development Application. This meeting will also review the Development Permit process steps and submission requirements.

Review Process

When you submit a Development Permit application form, Development Services staff reviews the information. Based on the information you provide; the Director of Planning has the discretion to:

  • Determine that no Development Permit is required
  • Determine whether the proposal can be considered a minor application
  • Determine the appropriate process steps to be followed in reviewing the application
  • Determine whether the project conforms to or requires a modification to the Land Use Plan, applicable Neighbourhood Plans and/or Vancouver Campus Plan

The Director or Manager may also consult with the public, advisory bodies and other staff before reaching a decision.

Learn more about the application process for:

Please complete the application form and prepare associated materials prior to scheduling an application intake meeting with the UBC Manager, Development Services.

To download the application form and reference material please see Application Form and Reference Materials.


A Development Permit application is required to amend an existing permit for a building, structure or landscape. Amendments may include changes to building exteriors, landscape or project statistics.


A Development Permit expires 12 months from the date it is issued if construction has not substantially commenced, unless an extension has been requested in writing and has been approved by the Director of Planning.

Temporary Development Permits

A Temporary Development Permit is required for non-permanent projects that are expected to only be in place for a short period. Examples include telecommunications antennas on buildings and student research projects for the short-term use of a site.