DPA Guidelines

DPA Guidelines Update

Engagement on Draft Guidelines

Over the last year the existing Saanich Development Permit Area (DPA); Justification and Guidelines document [PDF - 29 MB] has been undergoing a comprehensive review.  Thank you to those who provided input and feedback on the draft updated DPA Guidelines throughout the process. Your feedback has been used to inform and help finalize the updated DPA Guidelines, which is now available here [PDF - 83 MB]. The updated DPA Guidelines will be presented to Saanich Committee of the Whole on Monday November 27, 2023.


Development Permit Area (DPA) Design Guidelines are an important tool to support staff, applicants, the Advisory Design Committee and Council in evaluating new Development Permit (DP) applications.

The existing Saanich Development Permit Areas (DPA): Justification and Guidelines document is a patchwork of Development Permit Areas (DPAs) and guidelines that have not undergone a comprehensive review since before the OCP was approved in 2008.

The purpose of this project is to develop a simplified, consolidated Guidelines document that is aligned with the OCP and recent policies, plans and bylaws that have been approved by Council. An update to the DPA Guidelines is critical to meeting objectives in the 2023 -2027 Council Strategic Plan and fulfills a commitment noted in the 2008 OCP. As a critical path to future delegation, the updated Guidelines aim to deliver on recommendations within the KPMG Saanich Development Process Review Report and will support the streamlining of development processes to help achieve the Housing Targets set out by the Province.

The intent is to develop Guidelines that:

a) are harmonized and easy to use;
b) are clear in language and in structure;
c) use explanatory visual communications and illustrations that support good understanding of the expectations for form and character;
d) support the creation of sustainable development and urban design in Saanich that aligns with the OCP;
e) can be regularly updated to ensure alignment with future Council approved policies, plans and bylaws; and
f) support Housing Targets.

Please note that the updated DPA Guidelines have not incorporated policies, plans or bylaws that are in draft format or currently in development. For example, the Streamside Development Permit Area section has not been changed and will undergo a separate review process and update in 2024 based on work currently underway.


The Draft Guidelines have been developed over the last year by a consultant team, with input from staff across the organization and engagement with Saanich Advisory Design Panel members and key industry stakeholders.


Thank you to those who attended the industry stakeholder workshops and provided feedback on the Draft updated DPA Guidelines. The presentation from the industry stakeholder Workshop #2 held on October 17, 2023 is available here.


Have questions or feedback? Please reach out to Rebecca Newlove.