Inspections are necessary because they assist the homeowner or builder in constructing a building that meets current structural, health, security and fire protection safety standards.

The Building Inspector has a wealth of knowledge on District bylaws and codes related to building and their involvement in a project helps promote conformance to safety and health requirements. Communicating with the inspector in advance reduces the chances of problems arising during a field inspection.

Building Permit Applications

Building permits are required for all types of construction except:

  • buildings, structures or plumbing systems exempted by Part 1 of the Building Code (including accessory structures less than 10 m2 (107.6 ft2));
  • retaining structures less than 1.5 metres in height; or
  • the repair or replacement of a valve, faucet, fixture or sprinkler head, or stoppage cleared or a leak repaired in a plumbing; 

All building permit applications must include:

  • Complete building permit application;
  • Application fee of $100 for projects with a construction value of $50,000 to $200,000 or $400 for projects valued over $200,000;
  • Title Search (available through Service BC);
  • Owner's Authorization of Agent form needs to be filled out if the applicant is your designer or contractor. This can be found in the Building Bylaw as Appendix B; and
  • Two copies of plans with details as described in the Building Bylaw.
Building Permit Reports

Click here to view the monthly and yearly building statistical reports.

Building Rebates

Visit our Energy Programs and our Rebates pages to find out what you may qualify for.

General Building Permit FAQ

  • When do I need a permit?

    Building permits are required before beginning any type of construction as defined in the Building Bylaw:

    • The construction, repairing, or altering of a building or structure;
    • The construction, repairing, or altering of a plumbing system,
    • An accessory structure if larger than 10 m2 (107.6 square feet);
    • The completion of a previously unfinished area in existing buildings: i.e. basement, rec room, etc.;
    • creation or removal of a secondary suite;
    • construction of a sundeck;
    • Enclosing a carport into a garage;
    • Enclosing above or below a sundeck;
    • ​A retaining wall 1.2 m or higher;
    • A swimming pool fence;
    • A fireplace, chimney, or solid fuel appliance;
    • A change in occupancy;
    • A moving permit before moving a building or structure
    • A demolition permit before demolishing a building or structure;
    • An excavation permit before excavating to construct a building or structure; 
    • A plumbing permit prior to installation of any plumbing; or
    • The installation of wastewater disposal systems, sanitary, storm sewers and drainage.

    If you are unsure about whether a building permit is required, please check with the Planning Department at 250.425.6271.

  • When do I not need a permit?

    You do not need a permit for:

    • Buildings, structures, or plumbing systems exempted by Part 1 of the BC Building Code
      • including accessory structures less than 10 m2 (107.6 ft2));
    • Retaining structures less than 1.5 metres in height; or
    • Repair or replacement of a valve, faucet, fixture, or sprinkler head, a stoppage cleared, or a leak repaired in a plumbing fixture. 

  • What is the difference between a standard and complex building?

    As defined in our Building Bylaw:

    A standard building is a building of three stories or less in building height, having an area that is less than 600 square metres (6,458 ft2) and used for:

    • residential occupancies;
    • business and personal services;
    • mercantile occupancies; or
    • medium and low hazard industrial occupancies. 

    These types of buildings require a Standard Building Permit Application.


    A complex buildings are

    1. All buildings used for major occupancies classified as

    • assembly occupation;
    • care or detention occupation; or
    • high hazard industrial occupancies.

    2. All buildings exceeding 600 square meters (6,458 ft2) or exceeding three stories in building height that will be used for:

    • residential occupations;
    • business and personal services occupations;
    • mercantile occupancies; and
    • medium and low hazard industrial occupancies. 

    These types of buildings require a Complex Building Permit Application.

  • What hazard level is my commerical/industrial occupancy?

    As defined in the BC Building Code:

    Low hazard industrial occupancy: means an industrial occupancy in which the combustible content is not more than 50 kg/m2 or 1 200 MJ/m2 of floor area.

    Medium hazard industrial occupancy: means an industrial occupancy in which the combustible content is more than 50 kg/m2 or 1 200 MJ/m2 of floor area and not classified as hlgh-hazard industrial occupancy.

    High hazard industrial occupancy: means an industrialoccupancy that contains sufficient quantities of highly combustible and flammable or explosive materials which, because of their inherent characteristics, constitue a special fire hazard).

  • What happens if I don't get a permit?

    It is unlawful to commence construction with a building permit and double permit fees will be charged to you. 

    If the work does not comply with the BC Building Code, you may have to pay for costly repairs to upgrade or you may have to remove the work.

Applying for a Permit

  • How do I apply for a standard building?

    Standard building permit applications must contain:

    • Complete Building Permit Application;
    • Application fee: 
      • $100 for projects valued between $50,000 - $199,999, 
      • $400 for projects valued over $200,000; or
      • n/a for projects valued under $49,999.
    • Title Search (available from Service BC);
    • Owner's Authorization of Agent: for any application submitted by someone other than the property owner;
    • Site plan prepared to scale, if necessary, by a BC Land Surveyor; 
    • Two copies of plans with details as outlined in the application form; and
    • Homeowner Protection Office - required for new home construction).

  • How do I apply for a complex building?

    Complex building permit applications must contain:

    • Complete Building Permit Application;
    • Application fee: 
      • $100 for projects valued between $50,000 - $199,999, 
      • $400 for projects valued over $200,000; or
      • n/a for projects valued under $49,999.
    • Title Search (available from Service BC);
    • Owner's Authorization of Agent: for any application submitted by someone other than the property owner;
    • Site plan prepared by a BC Land Surveyor; 
    • Two copies of plans with details as outlined in the application form; and
    • Health or Safety Permits as required (i.e. sewage disposal, highway access, Water Permits, Ministry of Heath approval);
    • Letters of Assurance: Schedules A, B-1, B-2 as referred to in Part 2 of the BC Building Code signed by a registered professional for that discipline. 
    • Site drawings to include: 
      • grades
      • buildings;
      • structures;
      • parking areas;
      • driveways; and
      • landscaping. 

  • Building a Storage Shed

    If the proposed building is under 10 square metres (107.6 ft2) and used for storage purposes only, you don't require a building permit.

    However, siting requirements, building height and lot coverage for your zone will still apply. Roof overhangs and foundations cannot project into the neighbouring property. Find your zoning information on our online maps.

    Larger storage sheds and garages require a building permit. 

  • What drawings are required?

    Plans must contain sufficient information to enable staff to determine whether the proposed work conforms to all applicable regulations. 

    The requirements are different for complex buildings and standard buildings.

More information on building permits...