Form & Character Development Permits

The form and character of commercial and light industrial development is an important part of what makes a community attractive and livable for visitors and residents.

The primary objective of Form and Character Development Permits is to ensure that commercial and industrial development is attractive and compatible with the surrounding area.  A second objective is to establish guidelines that promote reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and the consumption of energy and water.  The Form and Character Development Permit guidelines will address siting, building massing and scale, exterior finish, outdoor lighting and landscaping.

The amendment to the Wasa and Area Official Community Plan would be as follows:

Development Permit Area – Commercial and Light Industrial Development

(1) Area

The Development Permit Area applies to all properties zoned a commercial or light industrial designation within the zoning bylaw or utilized for commercial development or light industrial purposes within the plan area.

(2) Purpose

The purpose of Development Permit Area is for the establishment of objectives for the form and character of commercial and light industrial land development, to promote energy and water conservation, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

(3) Requirements

(a) Within the Development Permit Area, owners must obtain a Development Permit before:

(i) Commencing siting, construction, addition or alteration of a building or structure including fencing.

(4) Exemptions

(a) A Development Permit is not required under the following conditions:

(i) The proposed activity is limited to internal alterations which do not affect the outer appearance of the buildings or structures.
(ii) The proposed activity is limited to replacement, upgrading, or repair of roofing.
(iii) The proposed activity is limited to the reconstruction, renovation, repair of, or addition to existing buildings or structures which increase the development footprint by an amount less than 10% of the area existing at the time the bylaw was adopted.
(iv) Temporary buildings or structures that are erected for offices, construction or marketing purposes for a period that does not exceed the duration of construction.
(v) The proposed activity is limited to the installation, repair or placement of utilities infrastructure within a public right of way.
(vi) The proposed activity is limited to general road or railway construction or maintenance within a public road right of way or railway right of way.

(5)  Justification

The form and character of commercial and light industrial development is an important part of what makes a community attractive and livable for visitors and residents.
The primary objective of this designation is to ensure that commercial and industrial developments are attractive and compatible with the surrounding area.
A second objective of this designation is to establish guidelines that promote reductions in the consumption of energy and water and in the emissions of greenhouse gases. These guidelines will help the Regional District meet targets related to greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

(6)  Guidelines

Proposed development must comply with the Guidelines. Development Permits issued shall be in accordance with the following:

a) Siting

(i) Location of buildings and open spaces will be planned to create a positive relationship between adjacent buildings, landscape features and residential uses.
(ii) The placement of buildings will respect existing landforms where possible to ensure minimal grading of the site is required.
(iii) All buildings will be designed to both preserve and take advantage of natural features or scenic views.
(iv) All buildings and structures must be sited in accordance with the regulations contained within the zoning bylaw, unless a variance is approved by the Regional District.
(v) Where appropriate, buildings should be oriented to maximize solar orientation of building envelopes.

(b) Building Massing and Scale

(i) Larger buildings shall be broken into smaller masses by breaking up the building footprint, offsetting walls, shifting rooflines to vary height, and articulating building elevations.  The buildings should be brought down to the pedestrian scale through the use of low eave lines, porches and canopies.  Building heights shall be in accordance with the zoning bylaw, unless a variance is approved by the Regional District.
(ii) The use of verandahs and porches is encouraged as a means of mitigating the scale and mass of a building.
(iii) Large developments should be broken into smaller buildings when possible.
(iv) Building footprints should be minimized where possible in order to allow for maximum green space.

(c) Exterior Finish

(i) Long expanses of unbroken or unarticulated roofline and continuous ridgelines are discouraged. Roofs that include architectural detail such as dormers are encouraged.
(ii) Exterior finishes should be wood, brick, natural stone, stucco, or other materials of warm appearance. Substantial areas of concrete, uniform cinder block, solid wall, or glass should be avoided. Stucco should be utilized to a maximum of 40% of the total exterior of the building.
(iii) The use of exposed wood architectural features and trim is encouraged.
(iv) The use of green roofs, livings walls or other measures to reduce heat gains caused by hard surfaces and to help absorb storm water is encouraged.
(v) The use of sustainable or ‘green’ building materials is highly encouraged.

(d) Outdoor Lighting

A dark sky policy should be implemented to reduce glare, light trespass, and light pollution. The following principles shall be observed:

(i) The appropriate level of lighting should be provided to ensure safety and aesthetic measures.
(ii) Illumination should be limited to way finding and be of low intensity.
(iii) The use of sulphur and mercury vapour lighting is prohibited.
(iv) The use of back-lit or internally lit signs is not permitted, however signs may be illuminated by external display lighting.

(e) Landscaping

(i) A combination of hard and soft landscaping is required.  Consideration must be given to the relationship between the building, provision of parking and landscape within the context of the pedestrian and passerby experiences.  A detailed landscape plan must be submitted as part of the development permit application.
(ii) The preservation of significant trees and shrubs and the utilization of mature plantings are encouraged.
(iii) Large parking areas shall be broken into smaller elements through the use of landscaping.  The use of trees that will provide shade throughout the parking area when they mature is encouraged.
(iv) The use of native species to landscape new developments and to restore disturbed sites is encouraged.  Where possible native plant communities should be protected and preserved.
(v) Plants should be used to screen utility boxes, garbage bins, propane tanks, storage areas, loading docks, exposed mechanical or electrical units.  Fencing, walls or other architectural design elements may be used in addition to plants and if utilized must be integrated into the overall design structure.
(vi) Fences and garden walls should be constructed with natural materials such as stone or wood.
(vii) Landscaping shall be protected from pedestrian, vehicular and equipment damage by curbs, bricks, low fencing or other materials.
(viii) Adjacent residential uses should be adequately buffered by appropriate landscaping or the provision of screening.
(ix) The use of porous materials should be maximized throughout landscaping.
(x) When possible, opportunities for rainwater recycling should be included in landscape design.

(f) Access

(i) Site access points shall provide safe access for vehicles and pedestrians. Opportunities to minimize conflict between vehicles and pedestrians should be demonstrated.
(ii) Where surface parking is proposed, it should be located at the rear or to the side of the site and screened from public streets.
(iii) The provision of bicycle parking close to building entrances, at grade, in a well-lit and clearly visible location is encouraged.

(g) Signage

(i) Signage for commercial uses is shall be placed so that scenic views are preserved.

Last edited: Thu, June 29, 2017 - 2:29:32