Zoning and Land Use


Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR)

Most ALR applications are processed through local government (i.e. TNRD) and then, if approved, they are sent onto the Commission. See the FAQ Sheet below for the process and more information.

The ALR is a Provincial “zone” administered by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) with the purpose of protecting and prioritizing agricultural land use. Specific applications are required to undertake non-farm land use, subdivide, exclude, increase density, etc. on lands within the ALR. The ALC or “Commission” is an independent tribunal charged with preserving B.C.'s agricultural land. See our one-page FAQ sheet for more information:

Also, go to the ALC’s website for a comprehensive range of background, history, ALR regulation, forms, etc.

Development Permits

A Development Permit is a kind of land use “agreement” enabled under s. 920 of the Local Government Act. It is a discretionary approval, meaning it is decided based upon conformance to Official Community Plan (OCP) policy. Development Permits in the TNRD typically pertain to development in environmentally sensitive areas or hazardous conditions, for example, lands adjacent to lakes, streams or wetlands or areas subject to rock fall, erosion, flooding, land slip, avalanche or wildfire.

See the FAQ Sheet below for more detailed information and the application process:

The following links will take you to the application form:

Second Dwellings

Under Bylaw 2400 (the zoning regulation that applies to the all TNRD electoral areas), rural residential zones allow only one detached dwelling per parcel or property. Generally, this dwelling is allowed to have a secondary suite and in some cases this may be a duplex or two-family dwelling. That said, there are two circumstances whereby a “second” detached dwelling may be allowed under certain conditions. Second dwelling permits may be issued for full-time farm employees or for residential care purposes, if and as certified.

Please see the FAQ Sheets below and Zoning Bylaw No. 2400 (the full zoning regulation) for more details:


An application to divide an existing parcel into two or more new parcels or an application to adjust parcel boundaries is a “subdivision.”

The approving authority for rural subdivision (that is lands in Electoral Areas) is Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI). Rural subdivision applications must be submitted to your District MoTI or Front Counter BC office. Click here to go to the MoTI website where the process is comprehensively explained.

The FAQ Sheet below explains the TNRD involvement in the process:

The Subdivision Servicing Bylaw 2313 also sets out additional TNRD requirements for subdivisions:

Variances BOV & DVP

Where a property owner seeks relief or “relaxation” of some land use bylaw requirements, they may apply for either a Board of Variance (BOV) or Development Variance Permit (DVP). These applications may vary certain zoning provisions (e.g. reduce a setback distance) or servicing bylaw requirements (e.g. required well volume); however, they cannot be used to vary a permitted use (e.g. to have several detached dwellings on a parcel) – that is called a “rezoning.”

Both kinds of variances are regulated by the Local Government Act and neither is the senior or “higher” tribunal. This means that you may apply for one and, if it is not approved, then you may apply for the other kind of variance. But there are differences – BOV rests on a case for hardship and it must be a minor matter; meanwhile a DVP allows a broader scope of relaxation and no case of hardship needs to be argued.

For more details and differences, see the two FAQ Sheets on variances below:

The following links will take you to the application forms: