Policies + Plans

Update to Building Permit fees in the Development and Building Regulations

UBC’s Strategic Plan: Shaping UBC's Next Century, together with the Vancouver Campus Plan, UBC Land Use Plan, and Public Realm Plan guide the physical planning of UBC Vancouver provide the foundation for developing and evaluating proposed physical changes, and help shape the University’s form, character, and landscape.

UBC’s Development and Building Regulations provide a municipal-like regulatory structure for the development of institutional and non-institutional lands at UBC Vancouver. The UBC Development Handbook establishes regulations that support the UBC Vancouver Campus’ Neighbourhood Plans by balancing public objectives and development interests.

For consultants who provide development services to UBC, the UBC Technical Guidelines serve as an official guide.

UBC also has the Residential Environmental Assessment Program (REAP) which is a mandatory green building rating system for residential developments at UBC, and the UBC District Energy Compatibility Guide describing neighbourhood district energy requirements.

Development and Building Regulations - Amendments to Building Permit Fees

The UBC Board of Governors has approved amendments the Development and Building Regulations to increase Building Permit Fees for projects with construction budgets greater than $50,000. Fees will be increased by 10% as of March 1, 2019 and a further 10% as of January 1, 2020.

The UBC Board of Governors last approved UBC’s current fees in 2004. The fees have not kept pace with academic and residential development on campus, nor with the growing complexity of UBC projects.

UBC undertook a comprehensive development fee review through 2018. The review was guided by the following principles:

  • Ensure fees reflect costs, and costs are fair
  • Minimize the impact on small projects
  • Scale fees in proportion to project complexity
  • Reflect market conditions for construction costs
  • Recognize the unique budget pressure on academic projects

Guided by the principles, the review included three streams of work: 

  1. Ensuring Full Cost Recovery: UBC’s costs for development and permitting are lower than comparable municipalities on a per project dollar basis, but the costs now exceed permit revenue. The proposed fee adjustments allow UBC to recover the full cost of its development approval work.
  2. Identifying Needs. Permit volume has increased nearly 25% since 2010, along with increased demand for inspections, complex phased occupancy, and alternative solutions to building code requirements.
  3. Benchmarking to Municipal Comparators: UBC’s current Building Permit fees are as much as 50% below a regional benchmark of municipal fees.

The 20% adjustment has a marginal impact on academic and residential project budgets, increasing the Building Permit as a portion of construction costs by 0.1% in most cases.

The proposed Development and Building Regulations update also increases the fee for alternative solutions under the BC Building Code to $500 per request, introduces a $500 fee request for provisional and/or partial occupancy requests, and includes already-approved Streets and Landscape Permit fees in the Development and Building Regulations.

The amended Development and Building Regulations is available below.