The responsibility of the Planning Department is to ensure that municipal goals are reflected in planning policy documents and ultimately in new development that occurs within the municipality. The Department has an important role in providing Council with professional and technical advice on current and future land uses, and a wide range of issues including housing, heritage, environment, transportation, and social policy.
The principal functions of the Planning Department are:
- To provide long range community planning through the Official Community Plan and other policy documents;
- To undertake focused planning studies on a variety of subjects;
- To administer development control bylaws including building permits and bylaw enforcement;
- To provide policies and education to conserve, protect and enhance Saanich's natural environment;
- To act as advisors to Council on planning and environmental matters; and
- To provide liaison to various municipal committees and community groups.
Environmental Services, within Planning, promotes conservation and enhancement of Saanich’s natural environment. This is achieved through the development application process, the introduction of new policies and bylaws, and environmental education and outreach programs that create greater awareness, understanding and involvement within the community.
One vital section of this department is Inspection Services which is responsible for the administration and enforcement of B.C. Building Code and related Plumbing Code. This section also includes enforcement of municipal bylaws.