Blasting and Rock Breaking

Written approval is required from the District prior to any rock removal occurring in the District of West Vancouver.

View the tabs below to find application forms, guiding documents, and learn about the application process.

Types of Permits

The District issues three types of permits for rock removal:

  1. Blasting Permit – Blasting permits are issued for rock removal using explosives or chemicals. This is the most common type of rock removal for large volumes.
  2. Rock-breaking Permit – Rock breaking permits are issued for rock removal by drilling, percussive breaking (not hammering), or splitting. Rock-breaking permits are limited to a maximum volume of 45 m3.
  3. Small Volume Permit – If the volume of rock to be removed is less than 10 m3 there is a shortened application process.

Rock hammering is not a permissible method of rock removal in the District at any time.

  1. Volume – The District has limitations on the maximum volume of rock that can be removed for a property based on its area.
    1. For lots less than 885 m2 a maximum volume of 400 m3 is permitted; and
    2. For lots over and equal to 885 m2 a maximum volume of 600 m3 is permitted.
  2. Purpose – Rock removal is permitted in the District for the construction of a primary dwelling, garage, coach house, access driveways, parking areas, and utilities as shown on approved Building Permit Plans.
Application Process

STEP 1 – Obtain a Building Permit

A Building permit must be issued and in good standing with the District in order to apply for either a Blasting or Rock-breaking Permit.

Please see the Building Permits & Inspections web page for details on how to obtain a Building Permit.

STEP 2 Determine the type of permit you require

Please see the types of permits and limitations sections.

STEP 3 – Complete the Application Form

Application Form

Please note the above application form is required for Blasting Permits, Rock Breaking Permits and Small Volume Permits.

STEP 4 – Prepare your application package with all required documents and drawings

Applicants must submit all necessary documentation at the time of submission. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

Refer to the following checklists for required items for each permit type.

Blasting Permit

Rock Breaking Permit

  • Application Form (Schedule B)
  • Blasting or Rock-Breaking Permit Indemnity (Schedule C)
  • A certificate of insurance
  • Pre-Blast Topographic survey and volume calculation. Please see the survey guidelines for submission requirements.
  • Confirmation the blast areas have been marked out on site. Either a layout plan or photos of the site should be submitted.
  • Letter(s) of Assurance
  • A report detailing how drill rigs and compressors are to be muffled

Small Volume Permit

STEP 5 – Ensure all documents and drawings are prepared for electronic submission

The District is accepting electronic applications only.

Documents and drawings must be formatted to the below requirements or they will not be accepted:

  1. Documents and drawings are set to high resolution and legible.
  2. All documents must be submitted in PDF format and to scale.
  3. Plans/Drawings with multiple pages must be combined into a single Electronic Document.
  4. Documents and Drawings must be saved individually. Do not combine multiple checklist items into one PDF.
  5. Documents and Drawings must be named accordingly. Examples:
    1. Application Form
    2. Pre-Blast Topographic Survey
    3. Pre-Blast Inspection Report
  6. Documents containing multiple layers must be flattened to a single layer.
  7. File size must not be reduced.
  8. Any documents required to be sealed by Registered Professionals must be digitally sealed with encrypted seals (Notarius software). Wet seals or photocopied seals and signatures will not be accepted.
  9. File must be unsecured and not password protected.

STEP 6 – Submit your application request

As of May 1, 2022, applications must now be submitted using the Document Upload Centre. Emailed submissions will not be accepted.

In order to use this service, you will require the following:

  1. A valid email address.
  2. All application forms, documents, and drawings required must be prepared as per our above requirements and ready for upload.
  3. The person you have specified as the applicant on your application form must be the same individual making this online submission.

Ready to submit? Click on the link below.

Document Upload Centre

Step 7 – Application fee and deposit payment

If your application request is accepted, you will be required to pay an application fee and damage deposit. For details regarding fees and charges, see the section below.

Step 8 – Start Date and Neighbour Notification

Once your permit has been reviewed by District staff and no further revisions are required you will receive an automatic email asking you to upload a copy of the neighbour notification letter to the Document Upload Centre. The notice shall include a description of the work to be done, the approximate quantity of rock to be removed, the expected date of commencement, the estimated duration of the project, and the name and phone number of the representative of the Blaster or Owner who will provide additional information.

STEP 9 – Your permit is issued

Once the above steps are completed and accepted by District staff you will receive an automatic email prompting you to download your permit from the Document Upload Centre.

STEP 10 – Submit a Post-Blast Topographic Survey

Once rock removal has occurred on-site, a Post-Blast Topographic Survey and Volume calculation is required to be submitted via the Document Upload Centre. The Post-Blast Topographic Survey is required to be accepted by District staff prior to calling for the first forming inspection under the Building Permit.

Fees and Charges

Visit the link below for details about fees for Blasting and Rock-breaking Permits. Please note no application fee or deposit is required for Small Volume Permit applications.

Fees and Charges

Submitting Additional Documents and Revisions

Visit the link below for instructions on submitting additional documents and revisions.

Submitting Additional Documents and Revisions 


Visit the link below for further details regarding rock removal in the District.

Soil Removal, Deposit, Blasting and Rock Breaking Bylaw

Public Lands Request

Rock removal or blasting on public lands requires written permission from the District prior to proceeding. If rock removal or blasting is required for a driveway crossing in conjunction with an application for blasting or rock breaking on private property, a separate public lands request is not required. 

To submit a request for rock removal or blasting on public lands the following should be submitted via email:

Blasting on Public Lands

Rock Breaking on Public Lands


Land Development

Staff are here to assist you by phone or email, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.