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Prepare & submit a ROW proposal

Pre-approval is required when using rights of way

Pre-approval is required anytime you're proposing to use our rights of way, including:

  • When you wish to work within the ROW or cross it with machinery or vehicles
  • You're discussing development on or adjacent to the ROW
  • You're subdividing a property with our ROW registered on the Title

Take note that our rights aren't always registered under "BC Hydro."” Sometimes our rights are included in other ROW agreements (e.g. City ROW, or Restrictive Covenants) registered on your Title. If you're unsure about your Title or ROW Agreement, are unable to locate it, or have questions, call 1 800 667 1517 across B.C. or 604 623 3637 in the Lower Mainland, or email us at

Two ways to submit: Start working early on your proposal

You can apply online using the Compatible Use Application. Or you can send your proposal and any attachments to your regional Properties office or by email.

Send in your proposal at least 16 weeks ahead of when you need it approved. The more detailed and complete your submission is, the faster you'll receive a response.

While we recommend the online application form, you can get a printable application form here [PDF, 90 KB].

Required application documents

  • The legal description or property identification number (PID). You'll find these on your tax assessment notice or Certificate of Title. If you can't locate either of these, your street address may be sufficient.
  • A detailed description of your proposal, including:
    • A map or legal plan of the property
    • A drawing of an appropriate scale showing:
      • The location of the proposed installations or uses in relation to existing roads and adjacent legal boundaries
      • The horizontal and vertical clearances, or distances, from what you're proposing to build to any adjacent BC Hydro works (e.g. tower legs, poles, anchors, cable) and ROW boundaries
      • The dimensions of the proposed installations, changes in grade or elevation, uses and maximum heights (including load and reach) of any vehicles
    • Electrical drawings and landscaping plans
    • Equipment to be brought onto the ROW
    • Details of materials to be used (e.g. wood, metal, ductile iron, PVC).
    • All necessary consents

Providing the following details with your application will speed up our review process:

Geotechnical report, ground profile and subsurface information All
A list of overall dimensions, if available, including height of all vehicles and types of equipment used for construction, operations, and maintenance All
AutoCAD files (preferably in DXF format), georeferenced to UTM zone with proposed elevation data points Street works, new roads, installing traffic signals as well as lighting poles, parking, and buildings
Elevation at the top of lighting poles and traffic signals Lighting poles and traffic signals
Length of cabling system  Logging activity

It's your responsibility to get the written consent of any land owner and other parties with an interest in, orjurisdiction over, the proposed use and/or the property. This includes other charge holders and regulators (eg. Agricultural Land Commission, local/regional governments, etc).

Approvals, documents & timelines

If your proposal is approved, a Compatible Use Letter containing all terms and conditions of the approval will be sent to you and/or the owner. You and/or the owner will be required to sign and return the Compatible Use Letter to us by the deadline specified, in acceptance of the specific terms and conditions.

Note that if your approved proposal calls for any modification or relocation of our infrastructure, the relocation could take up to one year or more and you'll be responsible for the associated costs.

Don’t start construction activity on the ROW until you’ve received, signed and returned (if required), the Compatible Use Letter and, if necessary, have an on-site meeting with a BC Hydro representative(s) to review the safety procedures. All necessary forms must be signed off by BC Hydro Field Operations staff before you're allowed to start work.

It's important to understand that each location and development has many different variables. For example, each BC Hydro structure can vary in both design of the structure and height of the wires, and buildings can vary in height, length and proximity to the power lines. As a result, each development is reviewed on a site-specific basis.