Planning and Building

DEVELOPMENT SERVICES RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Note: processing procedures are being revised in response to the evolving situation. Keep informed of any changes by monitoring the Town’s website and Facebook account.

In response to recent developments regarding the spread of COVID-19, Town Hall is closed to the public. The Planning and Building departments will be working as usual with the following exceptions:

  • Inquiries will be taken by email or phone only. Email is the preferred and most effective approach as we try to shift as many staff as possible to working remotely.
  • Payments for building and planning applications will be received electronically using online banking or in person if required.
  • Email, phone or video meetings will be used wherever possible in place of in-person meetings.
  • Please see click the following DOCUMENT for instructions specific to application type.

Planning Department

The Planning Department is responsible for the Town’s Official Community Plan, Zoning Bylaws and the processing of land development applications including development permits, development variance permits and subdivisions.

Municipal Planner: Marvin Kamenz
Planner II: Gail Andestad
Planner I: Regina Bozerocka
Phone: (250) 339-1118 or Fax: (250) 339-7110
Address: Comox Town Hall, 1809 Beaufort Ave. Comox, B.C. V9M 1R9

Building Department

The Building Department oversees the issuing of building permits and assures compliance with the building codes, regulations and by-laws of both the Province and the Town of Comox.

Inspector: Ian Rogers
Phone: (250) 339-2259
Fax: (250) 339-7110
Address: Lower Floor, Town Hall,1809 Beaufort Avenue, Comox, B.C V9M 1R9
Email: irogers@comox.ca


Building Permit Applications
with plans larger than 11” x 17” shall be dropped off at Town Hall drop box to the right of the front door, complete with all paperwork associated with that application.

Temporary Patio and Parklet Program - Extended to June 1, 2022

All Comox restaurants, pubs and cafes that wish to have temporary outdoor seating on an existing, on-site space are able to do so, or continue to do so, until June 1, 2022. Please review the Temporary Patio & Parklet Program Guide here to learn more and/or contact the Town of Comox Planning Department, (250) 339-1118, planning@comox.ca.

North East Comox Stormwater Management Plan

UPDATE

In late 2020, the Town garnered feedback on the preferred option (Option 3) for the North East Comox Stormwater Management Plan from property owners, tenants and stakeholders. In early 2021 Council directed staff to prepare Northeast Comox Stormwater Management Plan implementation bylaws to enable future growth in that area based on environmental stormwater management best practices. The implementation bylaws went to Council in June 2021 and received first and second reading, initiating the Notice of Proposed Amendment to the Offical Community Plan (OCP) to commence. Adoption of the implementation bylaws is expected sometime before the end of summer in 2021.

BACKGROUND

A study to create a Stormwater Management Plan for the North East Comox Neighbourhood was completed. The North East Comox Neighbourhood Study Area is comprised of properties that drain into:

  • Queens Ditch Catchment
  • Lazo Marsh Conservation Area, or
  • Downslope agricultural lands adjacent to the Queen's Ditch

The result of the study is a Stormwater Management Plan that provides a series of infrastructure servicing and development guidelines to mitigate potential negative effects in relation to existing Queen’s Ditch flood frequency and duration, downstream fish habitat, downslope agricultural activities, and Lazo Marsh. The North East Comox Stormwater Management Plan was developed in three phases:

  • Phase 1 - Determination of pre-development site conditions, hydrology and hydrogeology.
  • Phase 2 - Determine post-development unmitigated flow rates, volumes.
  • Phase 3 - Develop design standards.

REPORTS

Northeast Comox Zoning - Staff Report 6520-20/01 - April 14, 2021

NE Comox Stormwater Management Plan Implementation - Post Public Consultation Staff Report PR 21-1 - January 20, 2021

North East Comox Stormwater Management Plan Open House Information Boards - November 2020

Phase 1 Report

Phase 2 Report

Phase 3 Report


Downtown Vitalization Program

BACKGROUND

Comox Downtown Vitalization has been specified as one of the priorities in the Town’s Strategic Plan since 2012. Increasing residential density in the Downtown was identified as a key aspect of the Downtown Vitalization. A range of incentive tools were chosen to implement the Downtown Vitalization Program, and in June 2014 Council adopted several bylaws including Downtown Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 1784. On June 2nd, 2021, Council resolved to stop the tax exemption component. Available incentives encourage mixed-use commercial and residential development to support and increase not only Downtown businesses but also the area’s social and environmental vitality.

Click here to download the Vitalization Program brochure

OBJECTIVES:

The objectives of the Downtown Vitalization Program are to increase the Town’s economic, social, and environmental vitality by:

  • retaining and supporting existing businesses;
  • attracting new community investments in the form of multi-family residential development;
  • concentrating residential development within established areas with full municipal services; and,
  • encouraging high-quality residential development, suitable for citizens “aging in place”.

The Downtown Vitalization Program does not rezone land and does not amend Official Community Plan Bylaw 1685. A Development Permit is required for any new development in the Downtown Vitalization Area. Community consultation, rezoning, or development variance permit may be required for developments over three storeys.

AVAILABLE INCENTIVES FOR DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS :

  • Priority processing
  • Building Permit fee reduction
  • Planning Application fee rebate

Official Community Plan, Section 2.1.3.3, Downtown Comox Policies, supports a maximum of four storeys in height except in the case of sites with significant changes in grade. In addition, a higher height may be considered for the following, if satisfactory amenities are provided: redevelopment of the mall site, the north-west corner of Comox Avenue and Port Augusta Street (former Lorne Hotel), and the south-west corner of Comox Avenue and Church Street (Comox Legion).

FINANCIAL COSTS OF THE DOWNTOWN VITALIZATION PROGRAM:

The following aspects of the Downtown Vitalization Program are designed to reduce the financial exposure of the Town:

  • $80,000 budget for combined Building Permit and Development application fee reduction;
  • “Limited time offer” and “first come-first served” approach; and,
  • Clearly meeting or exceeding all applicable Zoning and Development Permit Area regulations reduces application processing costs and time.

The Downtown Vitalization Program area is shown shaded on the map below:

Downtown revitalization map

To review additional details on the Downtown Vitalization Program - click here. To discuss the program further with the Town of Comox Planning Department, (250) 339-1118 or planning@comox.ca.

Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw

The Town of Comox is undertaking a comprehensive review and update of the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw. The purpose of the update is to provide greater clarity and certainty for the development community, staff and end-users. The changes will consolidate and streamline the existing bylaws while providing the Town of Comox clarity in administering the development review process. The updated bylaw will make it easier for residents and developers to understand the Town’s development policies and will support the Town’s commitment to building more sustainable infrastructure.

The Town has retained Arlington Group Planners and Civil Engineering firm, R. F. Binnie & Associates, to handle the re-write of the bylaw with a working oversight by the Town of Comox’s planning, engineering and parks staff. The re-write of the bylaw will update specification drawings, revamp the bylaw content and layout so it is easier to navigate and administer. The team will also be revising the application forms to provide consistency, a digital format, and make it easier to fill out and email from a personal computer. During the process, the Town will be consulting with stakeholders and holding an Open House for residents and businesses to review and provide comment on the proposed changes. Open House date to be announced in the fall.

Visitable Housing Knowledge, Practices and Policies

People with mobility disabilities often face significant barriers in being able to visit friends and neighbours whose homes have barriers to mobility. This study presents background information on a movement to raise awareness and encourage the construction of dwellings that can be visited by those with mobility challenges. This paper is provided as an information service for residents who may be wondering how they could make their homes more visitable. To read this study please click on Visitable Housing.


Relevant Links