Getting Started

Are you planning to buy a property? Build or renovate a building?  Are you starting or changing locations of a business?  Make your first stop the City’s Development Services Department. 

Whether you are making plans for your own residence, a business investing in commercial facilities or developing a subdivision, there is significant information City Staff can provide you to assist in your investment decisions. An initial inquiry will help you gain information on the types of considerations you should include in your planning and what processes will be required to see your plans through.

Getting Started


The Zoning Bylaw divides the City into zones with specified boundaries that prescribe uses within each zone and requirements of development such as building heights, parcel sizes and parking requirements. 

Development Permit Areas 

Development permit areas are designated for locations that require special treatment for certain purposes including protection of development from hazards, meeting form and character objectives for specific development areas, and revitalization of commercial areas.

City Services

It is important to identify what City Services (water and sewer) are available and if there is a lack of servicing what will be required to extend servicing to your site. 

Topography and Natural Features   

Most lots are found to contain some natural or manipulated slopes. It's important to understand what implications the slope of the property will have on your development plans.  In cases where there are natural or man-made hazards, a geotechnical engineer will be required to ensure the lots are safe and suitable for the intended use.

Certificate of Title 

  • Easements/Rights of Way
  • Covenants
  • Building Schemes


The Land Title Act authorizes the Approving Officer for subdivision applications require a Geotechnical Report certified by a registered professional with experience in geotechnical engineering that the land may be used safely for the use intended and enter into covenants under Section 219.

The Community Charter authorizes the Building Inspector to require a Geotechnical Report to be supplied with a building permit application on any lands they feel may be susceptible. The City has mapped out most areas which have the potential for movement, however site specific conditions outside these areas may also cause the Building Inspector to request a report.

Most development in the West Quesnel Land Stability Area of the City will require a Geotechnical Report to accompany an application although there are some exceptions. Learn more about Building in the West Quesnel Land Stability Area (WQLSA).

For more information contact the Building Department at 250-992-2111 or


Properties bordering streams or hilltop cliffs may be subject to land lost due to erosion occurring from naturally occurring land movement due to things such as stream flows or landslides.   Municipalities may take protective work actions to protect municipal infrastructure such as roads and utilities but do not complete such works to protect private property from erosion. 

Property owners do have the right to consider protective works on their property but these works can be preventatively expensive.  Properly engineered protective works require engineering and environmental considerations.  They also require long term maintenance and may be considered under the Dike Maintenance Act if they involve more than one property.  Infrastructure of this magnitude can be requested as a Local Services Area.  Local Services city policy CF-8 has been developed to guide the process of applying for and obtaining approvals for  local services area for such things as armouring along river/creek banks.  This is a full cost recovery process in which a local services area tax is established to regain the funds for the project.  For more details see:

Financial assistance is not generally available for loss of land.  However it may be available for a structural repair or replacement of a principal residence under the Compensation and Disaster Financial Assistance Regulation. Click here for additional information from the province on erosion matters.


The City of Quesnel is a Waterfront community with many natural waterways including Quesnel and Fraser Rivers, tributary Baker, Dragon, and Tatchell Creeks and the northern end of Dragon Lake.  Although we benefit from the natural features and recreational opportunities these waterways provide us with, we must also be sensitive to our development around them.

To determine if your property is at risk from erosion or flooding you should hire a qualified professional trained in the recognition of flooding and erosion hazards. Review the Government of British Columbia website and download “Selection of Qualified Professionals & Preparation of Flood Hazard Assessment Reports (PDF)”.

Next Steps

Once you have done some initial information gathering, book a meeting with Development Services staff to discuss your initial ideas and plans. Staff will assist you in laying out the processes (building permits, subdivisions, variances, etc) that may be required for your proposal. 

To book a meeting contact the Development Department at 250-992-2111 or

Home / Building & development / Getting Started