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Find out more about developing land and bylaws related to planning and development in Golden.

Developing Land

Development Permits

In the Official Community Plan there are designated Development Permit Areas where specific guidelines for development apply. Development Permit Areas include lands intended for multiple residential use, commercial or industrial use, or environmentally sensitive lands. Development within a Development Permit Area must obtain a Development Permit prior to commencing.

Form and Character permits are the most common type of Development Permits. A Form and Character Development Permits focus on the creation of an attractive and well-integrated development. Form and Character Development Permits control design features including: building siting, exterior design finishing, landscaping, neighbourhood context, access, and parking.

Development Variance Permits

Development Variance Permits (DVPs) are a mechanism that allows a property owner or an authorized applicant to seek a variance from specific requirements of the Zoning Bylaw, the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw, or the Sign Bylaw except use or density requirements.


A subdivision alters the legal property boundaries of a parcel of land and includes dividing a property into smaller parcels, consolidating several parcels into one, creating a bare land strata or changing the alignment of an existing property line. All required works and services must be completed in accordance with Subdivision and development Servicing Bylaw.

Official Community Plan and Amendments

The Official Community Plan (OCP) is a comprehensive plan to guide future land uses and address related needs for amenities, services, development and infrastructure. The OCP is developed through considerable public input and is adopted as a bylaw by Council. It contains both written policies that reflect the goals and objectives of the community, and land use maps that designate types of land use.
When a proposed development does not conform to the land use designation in the Official Community Plan an application may be submitted by the land owner (or agent of the land owner) to change the land use designation of that property.
Some rezoning applications may require an OCP amendment which can generally be processed in conjunction with a rezoning application.

Zoning and Rezoning

The Town’s Zoning Bylaw is a key document that implements Golden’s OCP by regulating land use and density. Every property in Golden has a legal zoning classification specifying the types of uses or activities that can take place on that property, restrictions on the floor area and height of buildings, minimum distances separating buildings and property lines, the amount of off-street parking required, as well as other requirements.

If the existing zoning of a property does not permit a proposed use or development, an application may be submitted by the land owner (or agent of the land owner) to amend the zoning of that property. To change a property's zoning, the applicant should demonstrate that the proposed rezoning supports the Town’s OCP and benefits the community as a whole.

Development Procedures Bylaw

The Development Procedures Bylaw sets out the procedures and requirements for the processing of land development applications, including amendments to the Official Community Plan, amendments to the Zoning Bylaw, or issuance of Development Variance Permits, Development Permits.