The Guaranteed Permitting Timelines program seeks to improve the speed and predictability in the land development approval process, thereby demonstrating the City’s commitment to the development industry and to improving access to housing and affordability in Surrey. The Guarantee provides confidence that the City, working in partnership with Land Development applicants, is doing everything within its power to meet the Permit Processing Targets.

The processing times are applicable to application submissions that are complete and fulsome. Permit processing targets for new Single-Family Dwelling, new Tenant Improvement and Rezoning applications are provided as a reference.

Current Processing Times

Last Updated: September 20, 2022

Permit Type

Current

Processing Time

Established

Guarantee Targets

Building Permit:
New Single Family

6 weeks 10 weeks
Building Permit:
New Tenant Improvements
10.1 weeks 10 weeks

Rezoning: 
Single Family

11 weeks 12 weeks

Rezoning: 
Multi-Family, Commercial, &
Industrial

13.7 weeks 16 weeks*
Site Servicing Review 3.3 weeks

2.5 weeks

*Add 4 weeks for projects requiring ADP review

When Does the Permitting Timeline Guarantee Start?

Single Family Dwelling Building Permit Applications

If you are building a house on a vacant lot or a lot without any existing structures, this is referred to as a subdivision lot

 

Flow chart of subdivision lot processing timeline

 

1. Submit a complete Building Permit Application for a new subdivision lot

  • Submit your application and required documents through our online portal
     

2. Site Servicing Review 

  • The file will be forwarded directly to the Site Servicing Team for review. 

Guaranteed Permitting Timeline Starts 
 

3. Plan Review 

  • If all plan review requirements are fulfilled, then the permit is issued
  • If the requirements are not fulfilled, then a deficiency list is provided to the applicant to resolve
     
Guaranteed Permitting Timeline Ends
 

 

4. Inspections for Issued Permit

If you are required to demolish existing structures on a lot, then rebuild the house, this is referred to as an infill lot

 

Flow chart of infill building permits processing timeline

 

1. Submit a complete Building Permit Application for a new infill lot

2. Referrals and Site Servicing Review 

  • Staff sends referrals to Building Inspections and Drainage sections for review and comments. 
    • If a section approves the submitted documents and drawings, then the file will proceed to the referral. 
    • If a section does not approve the submitted documents and drawings, then staff will contact the applicant for revisions. 

Guaranteed Permitting Timeline Starts 
 

3. Plan Review

  • If all plan review requirements are fulfilled, then the permit is issued
  • If the requirements are not fulfilled, then a deficiency list is provided to the applicant to resolve.
     
Guaranteed Permitting Timeline Ends


4. Inspections for Issued Permit

 

Tenant Improvement Building Permit Applications

Flow chart of tenant improvement permit processing time

 

1. Submit a complete Building Permit Application for a new Tenant Improvement


Guaranteed Permitting Timeline Starts
 

2. Plan Review

  • If all plan review requirements are fulfilled, then the permit is issued. 
  • If the requirements are not fulfilled, then a deficiency list is provided to the Applicant to resolve. 
Guaranteed Permitting Timeline Ends

 

3. Inspections of Issued Permit


Rezoning Applications

Processing time flow chart of a rezoning application

 

1. Rezoning Application Intake

2. Initial Review of Application

  • A preliminary review is conducted to address any major issues and deficiencies and these are provided to the Applicant to resolve. 

Guaranteed Permitting Timeline Starts
 

3. Internal and External Referrals
 

4. Advisory Design Panel ("ADP")

  • If applicable
     

5. Public Notification and Council Introduction

1st and 2nd Reading
 

Guaranteed Permitting Timeline Ends
 

6. Council Final Approval

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

No, the timeline does not begin when you submit your application. 

  • Single-Family Dwelling: after referrals and a complete site servicing review. 
  • Tenant Improvement: after a complete and accurate building permit application is submitted.
  • Rezoning: after the initial review and resolution of all major deficiencies. 

See "When Does the Permitting Timeline Guarantee Start?" for when timelines start for Single-Family Dwelling, Tenant Improvement and Rezoning applications.

Yes, there are exceptions:

  • Incomplete application submissions do not qualify for the permitting timeline. To ensure your application is accurate, complete the checklist pertaining to the type of application you are submitting.
  • New Federal, Provincial, or municipal requirements triggering additional requirements not grandfathered.
  • Applicant requesting project changes, triggering additional staff reviews or new requirements.
  • New legal deficiencies are identified, including illegal and non-permitted activities.
  • Significant concerns raised by external referral agencies.
  • Significant public opposition to a project.

 

  • Any rezoning application proposing or requiring plan amendments is excluded from the Guaranteed Permitting Timelines. 

Current processing times are calculated based on an average of permits processed from the last 30 days for Single-Family Dwelling Building Permits and Tenant Improvement Building Permits and 90 days for Rezoning applications. 

If the City is closed for extended breaks such as the December holiday break or Council breaks for Rezoning applications, then this is accounted for in the processing times.

The processing times are updated weekly. 

No, the responsibility does not lie solely with City staff. The processing times are achieved when City staff and applicants work in partnership throughout the permitting process. 

The Guaranteed Permitting Timeline does not provide fixed-time permit issuance on all applications. Staffing levels, resources, and timelines will be continually assessed while the applicant and City staff must work in partnership throughout the permitting process to achieve success. 

If an applicant submits a complete and accurate application and the permitting timeline guarantee is not met, then the file will be a priority to review and resolve. 

The best practice to ensure your application will be successful in meeting the permitting processing times is to submit complete and accurate applications. If requirements are not fulfilled, then this will require further communication between staff and applicant and longer processing times.

At this time, the permit processing times apply to new Single-Family Dwelling (subdivision and infill), new Tenant Improvement and Rezoning applications. 

Other permit types (e.g., renovations, additions, etc.) or revisions are not included within the permit processing guarantee. However, staff continue to work diligently and efficiently on processing all types of permit applications.