Planning & Development

The White Rock Planning and Development Services Department is responsible for managing the growth and development of the City, whilst maintaining the quality of life enjoyed by White Rock residents.

Department staff provide customer services to residents, businesses, realtors, developers, agencies, and other levels of government. This includes responding to general inquiries regarding; land use and zoning controls, building and development processes, as well as other requests for information. The Planning and Development Services team also responds to complaints, occasionally resulting in enforcement.


The Planning Division is responsible for the implementation of the OCP, for the careful and sustainable redevelopment of the City, and for responding to the housing emergency in 2022 and beyond. It provides advice to Council on growth management, development review, and a variety of other projects including the Housing Action Plan (Housing Strategy). Additionally, the planning team services the public, processes development applications, and advances regional planning initiatives on behalf of the City. The division also processes applications for tree permits, in accordance with the City’s Tree Management Bylaw, supporting the enforcement of tree-related violations with the Bylaw Division. Staff within the planning team support the City’s Advisory Design Panel in its review of development permit applications and the Board of Variance in its review of applications for zoning relief. The Planning Division also administers sign permits, municipal addressing, and other complementary services.


The Building Division performs permit reviews and approvals, including a review of “alternative solutions” that meet BC Building Code requirements. The City’s Building Officials conduct regular inspections of new construction and renovation work ensuring all projects conform to applicable zoning regulations, development permit conditions, registered covenants, and the BC Building Code.

Bylaw Enforcement and Animal Control

The Bylaw Division provides education and oversees enforcement of a wide variety of the City’s bylaws to help uphold community standards and expectations. The work of the City’s Bylaw Officers involves inspections of secondary suites, ticketing for offenses against the City’s Tree Management Bylaw, assisting in finding lost dogs, and carrying out patrols along the White Rock Pier and Promenade. Additionally, this service includes monitoring construction activity to ensure that such work does not impact residents and businesses.

Business Licence

The Business Licence Service oversees applications for commercial businesses, and manages those for B&B’s, short-term rentals, and Trades Licences for construction related companies (including landscaping and tree services). Dog Licences are also managed, as is the provision of clerical support for the City’s Bylaw Enforcement Team.

Tree Permits 

This service includes not only the processing of permits, but also the response to enquiries regarding private and public (City) trees. The City’s Arboricultural Technician regularly provides customer service to residents with concerns relating to tree retention, and requests for tree removal, while acting as a liaison when considering activities that could potentially impact a City tree.


The Parking Division manages most aspects of parking on behalf of the City, ensuring that residents and visitors have access to parking. Parking is provided with a focus on customer service, helpful technology, and cost-effective revenue generation.