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Planning & Building Services

More Complex Projects

Stage 1: Pre-Application Meeting

Step 1: Establish a clear development proposal.

A vague development proposal will lead to complications down the road. Be as clear and detailed as possible when moving forward with your proposal. Though it may not appear to be relevant, even "simple" re-use proposals trigger the need for a building/development permit, and therefore site approval from Planning Services. For example, converting an existing residential building to office space requires a building/development permit and will yield different parking, landscaping and screening requirements.

Step 2: Arrange a meeting with Planning Services staff.

If possible, arrange a meeting with Planning Services staff to discuss your development proposal. This is particularly important before you purchase the property that you would like to develop. Each case is unique and staff will be able to provide important information about the opportunities and constraints associated with the property and proposal. Though staff takes a quality-oriented and flexible approach to assisting developers, there are certain instances where the development proposal may require modifications because of concerns relating to health, safety, neighbourhood impacts, etc., as reflected in the proposal's inability to conform with the applicable Zoning Regulations and/or other applicable regulations. This is also an opportunity to discuss aspects of the proposal that may affect overall cost, and ultimately feasibility, in seeing the proposal through.

Step 3: Find out if your proposal is a permitted use on your property.

Zoning is a land-use control that limits the types of permitted development. (Some properties even have multiple zones within.) For example, if you own a piece of land that has residential zoning (e.g. Single Unit Dwelling, R-1), a retail store is not a permitted use. If your development proposal is not a permitted use, you can apply for re-zoning if you are the property owner or authorized agent (see Planning booklet '#4 About Re-zoning' in the Pamphlets & Checklists section and FAQ 2.3: How do I get my property re-zoned?). In certain instances, you may be able to apply for a 'similar or compatible use' variance instead of re-zoning (see Planning booklet '#3 About Variances' in the Pamphlets & Checklists section and FAQ 2.4 What is a variance?).

Step 4: Determine who is going to see your development proposal through.

You should hire the appropriate builders, technologists, and/or professionals in seeing your development proposal through. Whom to hire will largely depend on the nature and scale of the proposal. The examples below should not be taken as an exhaustive list.

Site Plans

A site plan is a basic requirement of all development proposals. Depending on the nature and complexity of the proposal, you may need to require one ore more of the following.

  • Draftsperson
  • Certified Engineering Technologist (CET)
  • Professional Engineer (P.Eng)
  • Professional Landscape Architect (P.Arch)
  • Planner (MCIP RPP)
Building Plans

Depending on the nature and scale of the proposal, building plans may need to be stamped by a Professional Engineer (P.Eng) licensed to practice in the Province of New Brunswick pursuant to the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act.

  • Draftsperson
  • Certified Engineering Technologist (CET)
  • Professional Engineer (P.Eng)
  • Professional Architect (P.Arch)
Other Specialized Areas

Due to unique site constraints, you may need to hire professionals in other specialized areas to submit the required detail for Planning Services staff to assess the potential impact of the proposed development.

  • Traffic Engineer (P.Eng)
  • Environmental Engineer (P. Eng)
  • Planner (MCIP RPP)
  • Engineering Geologist (P.Geo)
  • Hydrogeologist (P. Geo)

Step 5: Find out the limitations of your development proposal.

More complex projects require a higher level of expertise in navigating and interpreting the by-laws and other applicable regulations that apply to your development proposal. The expertise of your hired professionals is critical in ensuring that the necessary research is done before moving forward with preparing your application. Because the applicable land use regulations can sometimes be difficult to navigate and understand, please encourage your hired professionals to contact us if direction and clarification is required. Further, there may be other limitations to your development proposal that are not regulatory in nature. For example, natural limitations such as rock outcroppings, steep slopes, and loose soils may influence where, and if, your proposal can take place on your site.

Planning Services staff cannot act as your hired professionals. We do not have the resources for this, and more importantly, it creates a conflict of interest because we are directly accepting and assessing applications. Please keep in mind that the mandate of Planning Services is to provide information and to regulate development within the Greater Miramichi Region.

Stage 2: Preparing your Application

Step 6: Begin formalizing your project plan.

Now that you have an idea of the opportunities and constraints on your property, begin planning the details of construction and the proposed location of your project. The 'Commercial Building-Development Checklist (NBC-2)' and 'Commercial Building-Development Site Plan Requirements' in the Pamphlets & Checklists section will help you collect and organize the necessary details for your building/development permit application.

Step 7: Receiving approvals from other departments and agencies.

Though Planning Services is the authority having jurisdiction to issue building/development permits in the Greater Miramichi Region, you may require other permits and approvals from other government departments or agencies to see your project through. Though not an exhaustive list, most are included within the 'Commercial Building-Development Checklist (NBC-2)' found in the Pamphlets & Checklists section. It is the responsibility of the property owner or authorized agent to receive all required permits and approvals outside the jurisdiction of Planning Services.

Step 8: Complete a Building/Development Application Intake Form and pay the required fee.

In order to begin the building/development permit application process, we require your contact info and a general description of your project (please see the 'Building/Development Permit Application Intake Form' in the Forms section). You can also pick up a hard-copy of the Form at our office. (For our locations, please see the Contact & Location section.) The building/development permit fee depends on the location, value, and nature of the proposed work. In the unincorporated areas, otherwise known as Local Service Districts (LSDs), the fee is combined. In the City of Miramichi, for example, there are separate building permit and development permit fees. The current fee schedule for our municipalities, Rural Community, and LSDs is found in our Fees section. (See FAQ 1.3: How much does a building/development permit cost?)

Step 9: Schedule your inspections.

Generally speaking, four (4) inspections are required. However, depending on the scope and nature of your project, fewer inspections may be required. Please contact us and ask to speak with a Building Inspector to find out exactly what inspections may be required. (See FAQ 1.4: What inspections are required?)