Downtown Revitalization Area

The Downtown Revitalization Area was created in 1994 to help Kitimat's downtown become a livelier, more functional, accessible, attractive, and cohesive pedestrian-oriented place. Local merchants and land owners helped develop Design Guidelines to govern construction in this special area.

Development Permit (DP-DRA)

DP-DRA is a development review system for buildings in downtown Kitimat. Design Guidelines apply universally to new private and public sector buildings, and other projects which would change the outside appearance of existing buildings. The permit process ensures development standard is consistent with community objectives and all projects are treated equally.

Please consult the Guidelines before you complete your project plan. Community consultation and design review are key parts of the decision-making process. Projects which conform to Guidelines will move quickly through the approval process.

What is a Downtown Revitalization Area Development Permit?

A development permit (DP-DRA) gives a property or business owner permission to build a specific project, and outlines what—if any—exemptions to Design Guidelines or Municipal Code requirements have been approved.

When Do I Need a Permit?

Changing exterior finishes and installing a sign are examples of projects which require a development permit. Some projects also require a building permit. Both types of applications may be submitted at the same time, but, the DP-DRA must be granted before a building permit will be issued.

How Do I Apply?

Please consult Planning and Building Department staff before you finalize your building plans. Information exchange—early in the design process—can help you incorporate Guidelines and mandatory Building Code provisions; thus speeding up the approval process for your project. To book appointments please call (250) 632-8900 or e-mail

The remaining steps are simple. First, download a downtown revitalization permit application or pick one up from the Planning Clerk at 270 City Centre. Regular business hours: 8:30 am – Noon and 1 pm – 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday; closed Statutory Holidays (including Easter Monday). Next, complete sections 1 through 6. The application and fee payment ($20) may be delivered to the District of Kitimat, 270 City Centre, during regular business hours or sent by mail (V8C 2H7). Payment may be made by cash, cheque, debit card, MasterCard or Visa.

Please note the requirement for elevation drawings and a site plan (paper or pdf). At least one colour set of your proposal drawings, up to 11” x 17” in size, must be submitted. A landscaping plan should also be included, if applicable. A sample board which displays new exterior finish materials is also appropriate. Drawings and material samples will be circulated to the Downtown Design Panel and Kitimat Council; and may be viewed by area business and land owners; staff from Building, Engineering, and Fire Departments; the Advisory Planning Commission; and the general public.

What Happens Next?

Once a DP-DRA application is received, it is reviewed by Planning staff and Design Panel meeting date is set. Neighbouring business operators and property owners receive “Notice to Neighbours”, an informative handout which outlines the proposed project and invites comment.

All applications are considered by the Downtown Design Panel. This four-member advisory panel: two Members represent the Advisory Planning Commission (APC), and two represent the Kitimat Downtown Revitalization Association; evaluates the aesthetic component of all downtown projects. The applicant, the architect or contractor, and members of staff may attend the Panel meeting and be consulted before the Panel drafts a recommendation for Council consideration.

The Downtown Design Panel reports directly to Council. Kitimat Council receives the Panel's report, hears any additional public comment and makes a final decision. Permit applications are generally decided at a regular scheduled Council meeting; please consult the Council schedule for meeting dates and times. DP-DRA applications may be granted, granted with conditions, or denied by Kitimat Council. A performance bond may be required.

Turn-around time for a DP-DRA application is estimated to be 3-5 weeks. More complex or controversial applications may take longer, particularly if more than one Design Panel meeting is required.

Need More Information?

Please download the Kitimat Downtown Design Guidelines and the Kitimat Official Community Plan (2008). For additional information please contact Community Planning & Development at 250-632-8910.