Foreshore Development Permits

From across a lake, a waterfront village sits at the base of some mountains.

The Provincial Housing Supply Act mandates that the District collects and reports housing information for proposed new residential dwelling units. The Natural Environment and Hazard Development Application Form has been updated to include these additional housing details. Please ensure the most current Form is completed when submitting an application on or after April 1, 2024. For questions regarding housing forms, please contact the Planning Department via email: [email protected]


As climate change causes increased sea level rise and storm surge, it is important for waterfront communities to develop building regulations that specifically address the risk of coastal hazards and flooding. 

The District of West Vancouver has created a Development Permit Area (DPA) for the foreshore (waterfront) that will help protect people and properties, provide information to owners about how to redevelop their properties safely, while sensitively managing the foreshore environment. 

The Foreshore Development Permit Area was adopted on April 11, 2022. Development in the Foreshore DPA will be subject to protection area guidelines, which can be viewed under schedule ii of the Official Community Plan


The Foreshore DPA has been established to: 

  1. Minimize risk to people and property from coastal hazards including sea level rise, storms, wave effects, and flooding. 
  2. Support coastal management in reducing flooding risks. 
  3. Preserve and enhance the integrity of the intertidal habitat of the foreshore and minimize shoreline erosion. 

If you are planning to build a new home (i.e., habitable space) within the Foreshore DPA your proposed development must follow the District’s NE2 Foreshore Protection Area Guidelines Section I, II, and III, for the purpose of reducing the risk from coastal flood hazards on upland property and development. This includes the requirement to build habitable space to the Flood Construction Level (FCL) elevation, if the property is at an elevation that may be at risk to coastal flooding (note: FCL means the elevation of the underside of a wooden floor system or top of concrete slab for habitable buildings).

If you are planning any development, including tree work within the Foreshore Protection Area [i.e., within 15 m of the natural boundary (high tide mark) of the ocean] the development must comply with the District’s Foreshore Protection Area guidelines (see schedule ii of the Official Community Plan), for the purposes of protecting or enhancing the intertidal habitat of the foreshore.

You can view whether your property is within the Foreshore DPA under the Planning/Foreshore DPA layer in WestMap.

A Foreshore Development Permit needs to be approved prior to applying for a building permit.