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Development Permits

What is a Development Permit?

A Development Permit is a formal document that authorises development within the City of Dawson. Development means the carrying out of any activity involving material change to any use on, over, or under the land or buildings on the land that results in a change or intensity of use. A Development Permit ensures that the proposed change conforms with the City of Dawson’s Zoning Bylaw (ZBL) and Official Community Plan (OCP). 


When is a Development Permit Required? 

Unless otherwise stated in the Zoning Bylaw, no person shall commence, cause or allow to commence any development, change of existing use, or change of intensity of use unless a development permit has been issued. Excavating, filling, and/or building a foundation is considered a development. When in doubt, contact the Planning department to find out if you need a permit for your development. 


No development permit is required for the following, provided that such development conforms to all other provisions of the Zoning Bylaw:

  • regular maintenance and repair of any building or structure, provided it does not include structural alterations or does not change the use or intensity of use of the land, building, or structure
  • regular maintenance and repair of any building or structure in the heritage management areas that meets the heritage management design guidelines
  • landscaping where the existing grade and surface drainage pattern is not materially altered, except when landscaping is required as part of a development permit 
  • minor utilities, as determined by a development officer 
  • the use of a building or part thereof as a temporary polling station, returning officer's headquarters, candidate's campaign office, and any other official temporary use in connection with a federal, territorial, or municipal election, referendum, or census 
  • a fence, wall, or gate that does not exceed 2 m (6.6 ft.) in height and is located outside of the historic townsite 
  • an accessory development not greater than 10 m2 (107.6 ft.2) and not exceeding 2.5 m (8.2 ft.) in height 
  • a sign located outside of the historic townsite, provided that such sign conforms to all other provisions of the Zoning Bylaw
  • demolition of a building or structure under 10 m2 (107.6 ft.2), unless designated in the Yukon Government Historic Sites Inventory


What is my proposed development type? 

New Build: Single/Duplex Residential - New construction that is a free-standing house or a house that is divided into two separate dwelling units 

New Build: Multi-Residential & All Other Use Classes: All other new construction 

Major Alteration - An addition to a building or a structural or exterior change to a building or structure. Examples include (but are not limited to) changes to foundations, exterior load-bearing walls, door and window openings, roof, and access/egress components (such as decks or porches). 

Minor Alteration - all other alterations, such as (but not limited to) installing a fence, solar panel, culvert, or pole

Change of Use - Changing the use of any building or structure eg. from a retail store to a restaurant


Application Requirements 

To ensure the City’s interests are met and to appropriately assess the merits and technical aspects of your proposal, the City requires submission of a number of information items with your application, listed below.


New Build

  • Site Plan
  • Floor Plan
  • Elevation Plan
  • Stormwater Management Plan
  • Window and door schedules (if located in the historic townsite) 

Major Alteration 

  • Site Plan
  • Floor Plan
  • Elevation Plan
  • Window and door schedules (if located in the historic townsite) 


Minor Alteration

  • Plan showing part(s) of the structure or property that are to be be altered


Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and that the development officer or the Heritage Advisory Committee may require additional materials than noted above.  


Timeline of Approval  

According to the Yukon Municipal Act, s.299: on receipt* of such an application, the development officer shall, within 30 days, 

  1. grant the permission;
  2. refuse the permission;
  3. grant the permission with specified conditions;
  4. defer making a decision in respect of the application for a period not exceeding 60 days from the date of the application.

*An application shall not be considered to have been received until all application requirements have been submitted to the satisfaction of a Development Officer.


Please note that consultation or determination by the Heritage Advisory Committee, Council, or Yukon Historic Sites may impose additional time to processing permits. Regularly scheduled HAC meetings take place only twice monthly and Council Meeting take place only once a month.


Figure 1: Flow Chart of the Development Permit Application Process