Building Permit FAQs
- What am I Allowed to Build on My Property?
- How do I Apply for a Building Permit?
- When is a Building Permit Required?
- Application Forms
- What are the Building Guidelines for Single Family Dwellings?
- Dwelling Unit above another Dwelling Unit
- What is the Process to Apply to the Board of Variance?
- What are the Fees and Charges for a Building Permit?
- When are Permits Coordinators and Building Inspectors available for counter inquiries?
- Who do I contact for more information?
- What are the building permit wait times?
The cost and requirements for permits vary, depending on the type of work you propose to undertake. When arranging for a permit, there are several factors to keep in mind:
- The permit is required before you begin work on your project.
- To apply for a permit, you will be required to provide information about your project in the form of plans and supporting documentation. Sufficient information is required to demonstrate that the proposed work will comply with all applicable Codes, Regulations, Bylaws and property encumbrances (e.g. rights-of-way, covenants, etc.).
- Permits are obtained through the Building Permits and Licences Division.
- Permits can not be applied for online.
- Calculation of building permit fees are outlined in the Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 1532-2006.
- Depending on the type of permit, various other charges and securities (Development Cost Charges, Damage Deposits, etc.) may be applied.
- Periodically during the progress of permitted work and after you have completed work, you will need to schedule inspections.
The following are some of the basic procedural requirements for different types of permits. It is important to note that requirements vary depending on the work you are doing.
Residential Building Permits
- Complete an Application and Owner’s Authorization form.
- Provide two sets of drawings (to scale) of the proposed work, and a site plan and any other documents required (engineering schedules, septic approval, etc.).
- Pay application fee
- The Permits Coordinator will review the plans and forward his or her comments to you prior to accepting permit as a complete application.
- Provide any outstanding items identified and requested by the Permits Coordinator in the course of their review.
- Pick up plans when notified after the plan review is complete and pay any outstanding fees if required.
- Schedule inspections at appropriate stages of construction.
Commercial / Industrial / Institutional / Multi-Family
- Fill out an Application and Owner’s Authorization form.
- Provide drawings and associated documents for the proposed work. You will need to demonstrate compliance with any Development agreements that apply to your project.
- Pay application fee.
- The Permits Coordinator will review the plans for compliance with the BC Building Code.
- In parallel with this review the application is referred to other City Departments affected by the proposed work. A consolidation of the various departments’ comments will be forwarded to you.
- Provide supplemental documentation identified and requested by the Permits Coordinator in the course of their review.
- Pick up plans when notified after the plan review is complete and pay the permit fee outstanding balance.
- Schedule inspections at the appropriate stages of the work.
Fees and Charges for Building Permits are listed in detail in the City’s Fees and Charges Bylaw, 2006, (Schedule "G").
Fees and charges for building permits are dependent on a variety of factors including but not limited to type of project, location and services needed to complete the scope of work, it is not possible to provide a complete list of fees and charges prior to the review of the application.
The City’s Building staff is available to assist you in figuring out just what kind of permits and fees you will need in order to complete your project in a timely and cost-effective manner. Applicants are advised to wait for staff to complete the review before determining final permit fees.
You can also use our Building Permit Fee Estimator tool.
Building Staff Availability
In order to serve you better, and ensure all your questions are answered in a timely manner, the Building Department has designated specific times for in-person and by phone consultation.
Applications in Progress - Permits Coordinator
For questions regarding specific applications in progress - A Permits Coordinator is available for counter enquiries and phone calls to discuss your file between 8:30 am and 9:30 am and again between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm, daily. No appointment is necessary, but clients are served on a first-come first-serve basis.
Questions for Building Inspectors - A Building Inspector is available for counter enquires and phone calls between 8:30 am and 9:00 am and again between 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm daily. No appointment is necessary, but clients are served on a first-come first-serve basis.
For general questions, not referring to a specific application already submitted - A Permits Coordinator is available all day to handle general enquiries
- Permit Coordinators are available 8:30 am and 4:30 pm daily for general inquiries.
- Permit Coordinators are available for counter inquiries and phone calls between 8:30 am and 9:30 am and again between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm, daily for specific applications in progress.
- Inspectors are available for counter inquiries and phone calls between 8:30 am and 9:00 am and again between 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm, daily.
- No appointment is necessary, but clients are served on a first-come first-served basis.