Development permits

A development permit grants permission for residents and businesses to undertake new development.

This type of permit establishes:

  • land use
  • how the site will be used
  • the size and location of buildings, structures, & exterior design elements

The City reviews development permit applications against Winnipeg Zoning By-laws. Before deciding on a permit application, we also review:

  • applicable guidelines
  • regulations
  • other City department requirements

When needed, development permits must be obtained before submitting a building permit application.

Depending on the scope and location of the project, a development permit may need supporting development applications, along with approvals from City administration, Community Committee, or City Council.

Development examples

  • the construction of a building or structure on, over or under land
  • a change in the use or intensity of use of a building or land
  • removal of soil or vegetation from land
  • deposit or stockpiling of soil or material on land
  • excavation of land

Development permit exemptions

Certain construction projects are exempt from development permits:

Currently, 25 projects are exempt from development permits:

  • Demolition of buildings or structures
  • Interior building alterations when there is no change of use of the building and no new dwelling units
  • Permitted fences located in the side, rear or front yard of single and two-family dwellings
  • Single-level side or rear open decks in R1 and R2 zoning, 24 in. or less in height. Single-level side or rear yard open decks in R1 and R2 zoning level with a main floor entrance if they follow private approach guidelines and setbacks
  • Landscaping, not required by a development approval, with no change in overall lot grading, including outdoor furniture; must follow private approach guidelines and setbacks.
  • Ornamental or decorative structure, provided they follow private approach guidelines and setbacks
  • Flagpole
  • Replacement of light standards on private property in the same location
  • Repair of parking areas with no change to the existing approach or surface material type. Repair to follow private approach guidelines and setbacks.
  • Replacement of accessory outdoor mechanical equipment in the same location
  • Grading or preparation of land and/or installation of on-site services under a land development approval or development/servicing agreement if the work relates to topsoil, or is a single or two family residential greenfield development with lot grading plans
  • Permitted accessory enclosed with roof structures less than 108 sq. ft. of building area located in the side or rear yard of any zoning district (if the structure is not a detached secondary suite and follows private approach guidelines and setbacks)
  • Detached garages accessory to single and two-family dwellings provided they follow private approach guidelines and setbacks and zoning regulations
  • Fences and gates in any zoning district if they follow private approach guidelines and setbacks and maximum height zoning regulations
  • In-ground or above-ground private swimming pools or hot tubs not located in the front yard; not next to a stormwater retention basin; and not within the Designated Floodway Fringe Area Regulation.
  • Patios (other than outdoor drinking and dining use) if they follow private approach guidelines and setbacks.
  • Play structures
  • Retaining walls four 4 ft. or less where there is no lot grading modification. Property is not in the Designated Floodway Fringe Area Regulation; follows private approach guidelines; has a 2 ft. setback
  • Temporary sales office for marketing an approved development
  • Temporary office during construction of an approved development
  • Ground-mounted satellite dish or other antennae installations. (Does not include antennae installations under the Winnipeg Antennae Systems Policy.)
  • Building-mounted antennae where there is no structural alteration to a building and located more than 8 ft. above grade. (Does not include antennae installations that are subject to the Winnipeg Antennae Systems Policy.)
  • Solar photovoltaic installations located on a building 8 ft. above grade or not on a building at grade
  • Driveways to off-street parking areas, provided they follow private approach guidelines and setbacks
  • Accessory structures less than 150 sq. ft. such as open sided pergolas, gazebos or similar structures if they follow private approach guidelines and setbacks and are not secondary suites

Declarations for development permit exemptions

Projects that are exempt from development permits are required to have a declaration submitted at the time of building permit application.

Typical supporting development applications

Development policy search tool

If your project is located within development policy areas, unique bylaws, regulations or guidelines may apply to your development. Search your address to confirm.

Mature community

If your project is located in a mature community, the Small-Scale and Low-Rise Residential Development Guidelines for Mature Communities may apply.

Designated Floodway Fringe Area

If your project is located in the Designated Floodway Fringe Area, the Designated Floodway Fringe Area Regulation , the Winnipeg Secondary Dyke By-law, the City of Winnipeg Charter, and any caveats or easement areas registered against your property may apply. A Geodetic Survey may be requested to assess proposed development.


If your project is located near a waterway (i.e. 110 m from a river or 77 m from a creek), the Winnipeg Waterway By-law may apply, and you may require a separate Waterways Permit. A Geotechnical Report may be requested to assess your proposed development.

Storm water retention basin

If your project is located along a storm water retention basin, section 155 of the Zoning By-law: Lots Adjacent to Storm Water Retention Basins may apply.

Airport Vicinity Protection Area (AVPA)

If your project is located in the AVPA, the Airport Vicinity Protection Area Regulation may apply.


If your project is located in the downtown, the Winnipeg Downtown Zoning By-law may apply, and you may require administrative Downtown Urban Design Review and approval.

Planned Development Overlay area

Your project may require plan approval/design review as per the Planned Development Overlay requirements. Refer to the Winnipeg Zoning By-law appendix for details.

Heritage district or heritage building

If your project is located in a heritage district or you are altering a building with a heritage designation, the Heritage Conservation Districts and/or Historical Resources By-law may apply, and you may require a Heritage Permit.


If your project is located near a landfill, the Standards and Guidelines for the Mitigation of Methane Gas at Building and Utilities and Guidelines for Construction on Landfill Sites may apply.

Secondary Plan Area

If your project is located in an existing Secondary Plan Area (and depending on the nature of the development proposal), a secondary plan amendment may be required before submitting a development permit application. A design review may also be required for approval of your development permit.

Projects that require a development permit

All development requires a development permit unless otherwise exempt by the Winnipeg Zoning By-law, Subsection 8.(1). Examples of projects that require a development permit include:

  • new structures/buildings
  • additions
  • exterior alterations
  • interior alterations
    • zoning change of use (e.g. converting an office to a restaurant) or
    • changing the occupiable floor area (e.g. adding a mezzanine), which impacts exterior requirements such as parking
  • site work
  • new/altered foundations (changing the footprint)
  • change of use
  • signs (including mobile signs)
  • secondary suites
  • establishing a home-based business
  • special events and temporary structures
  • barrier free ramps
  • landings
  • beehives on private residences

For pre-consultation on development permit applications, contact Zoning and Permits to speak with a Zoning Development Officer.

Note: Most of these projects also require a building permit. Refer to the Winnipeg Building By-law and Residential Permits and Commercial Permit Resources webpages for details.

Declaration of development permit exemptions

Application requirements

Review the development and building permit process to help navigate application requirements. 

Before applying for your development permit, ensure you have obtained the following prerequisite approvals, where required for your project.

  1. Land development approvals to establish the zoning use and/or parcel of land you intend to develop:  
    • Air space plan (DAASP)
    • Condominium plan of survey (CONDO)
    • Consent application (CA)
    • Plan of survey (DAPS)
    • Plan of subdivision and rezoning (DASZ)
    • Rezoning (DAZ)
    • Secondary plan (SP) or secondary plan amendment (SPA)
    • Short form subdivision (DASSF)
    • Plan of subdivision (DAS)
    • Zoning agreement amendment (ZAA)

    For pre-consultation on DASZ, DAZ, SPA, or ZAA applications, contact Urban Planning & Design to connect with a City Planner.

  2. Land titles registration at Teranet Manitoba, where required. Ensure you have a Status of Title demonstrating ownership of the land.    

To apply for a development permit, submit the applicable application form and required documentation. Refer to the permit application for detailed information that must be included in each document.

Development permit application forms

Combined development & building permit application forms

Construct new - single/two family dwelling building permit application form

New single/two family dwellings in new greenfield subdivisions do not require prerequisite development permit approval. Instead, your development permit will be processed as part of your building permit application. Applications for accessory structures in greenfield subdivisions will also be processed as combined development/building permit applications if submitted at the same time as the new home application:

Certain projects are exempt from requiring a development permit such as low decks, for single-family and two-family dwellings.

Please note that your project may not require a development permit. If it is exempt, but does not meet Zoning by-law requirements as confirmed through the required declaration, you will require a variance.

Related links

How to apply

Please ensure you have gathered all required documentation before applying.


Please contact us.

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