If you are building in West Vancouver, you will need a permit from the city. You will also need to find out about the inspections that you will need to have and about the costs that you will incur.
West Vancouver Municipal Government saw an exponential increase in new building permit applications in late 2021 and early 2022. That was a significant increase from the average of 40 new applications per month during the past three years. In the meantime, it has made changes to its building bylaw to help limit the construction of monster homes.
The new regulations were enacted after a consultation process, led by former Councillor Nancy Smeal, which involved residents, businesses, and other stakeholders. There was a strong public sentiment in favor of the changes. But there were some snags along the way.
The bylaws were largely designed to help preserve the character of the neighbourhood, but many people felt they didn’t go far enough. The changes included a requirement for new buildings to meet the highest building performance standards.
Building permits are required for any change in land use. They ensure the project meets accessibility requirements, life safety specifications, and the City’s building bylaw. Aside from ensuring that the project meets the City’s requirements, they allow for tracking and monitoring of the permitting process.
While it isn’t mandatory to get a permit, some cities require it. This includes Langley Township.
Although the BC Energy Step Code does not yet require that a building be built to its highest level of code, it is expected to come into effect this summer in all North Shore municipalities. Homes in these areas will need to be at least 20 percent more energy efficient than the existing BC Building Code. Those who want to get a step up will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars more in new construction costs.
While the first three tiers of the Step Code address common building envelope issues, there are some complexities that arise at higher levels. For instance, a Step 5 building would be net zero, meaning it produces no more emissions than it consumes. It also requires a tight envelope, efficient HVAC equipment, and a degree of insulation.
Getting a building to the Step Code’s highest level may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Builders in all jurisdictions will want to consult with an envelope engineer. These experts can guide them in the right direction for a residential house.
The District of West Vancouver is facing an unprecedented number of new building permit applications. In the past three years, the district has seen an average of 40 per month. This has led to a backlog that is expected to take four to six months to clear.
The District of West Vancouver has taken steps to improve the permitting process. It has made some improvements to the building bylaws, and it has adopted an alternative plan and field review process. Aside from this, the provincial government has also worked with local governments in BC to better licensing processes.
One example is the British Columbia Certified Professional Program. Under this program, a qualified individual can obtain a building permit in West Vancouver without having to go through the traditional plan review process. For this purpose, the CP must submit a building permit application, and provide supporting documents.
The District of West Vancouver has released a bulletin to builders, stating that it is experiencing a backlog of building permit applications. To clear this backlog, the district is planning on issuing smaller permits for less complex projects.
In addition to the official building permit, there are other inspections that may be required. These inspections are designed to verify that the work being done on the property meets certain criteria. Some of these inspections include zoning, critical areas delineation, and landscaping.
Other notable inspections involve erosion control measures, which must be installed before any other site work is performed. These measures must be maintained until the project is complete.
In addition to the official building permit, a homeowner should also have a BC Housing declaration. This declaration is a government-sponsored checklist that is designed to ensure that the home is built in compliance with the municipality’s bylaws.
In addition to the official building permit, you may need to acquire an electrical or gas permit for some of the work being done on the property. You will also need a trade permit for any mechanical or plumbing work.
Finally, a building inspector will likely make some random site visits. He or she will check out the major systems of the building to determine whether they are in compliance with the building bylaws and code.
Alternative solutions to the requirements of the BC Building Code
The District of West Vancouver is currently facing a large number of new building permit applications. It has issued a bulletin to builders and property owners. In late 2021 and early 2022, the number of building permits received by the District of West Vancouver reached an unprecedented level. During this period, the average number of building permits issued per month was 40.
Alternative Solutions to the requirements of the BC Building Code must be applied for with the building permit application. These solutions allow flexibility in the design of a building. However, the final design must substantially comply with the accepted building permit drawings. Applicants must also pay a fee.
Alternative Solutions to the requirements of the Building Bylaw must be proposed in writing. They must be prepared by a professional architect or engineer registered in the Province of BC. This information must include evidence of reliable performance and a commitment to conduct field reviews.
The alternative solution review panel will examine the submitted documentation to determine if it complies with the requirements of the BC Building Code. If it does, the Chief Building Official will approve the plan. If it does not, the applicant must make separate applications for each alternative solution.
Alternatively, an applicant may request an alternative solution review panel. The review panel is appointed by the Chief Building Official and comprises up to three experts.
An applicant who requests an alternative solution to the requirements of the Building Bylaw must provide a brief description of the project. In addition, they must submit revised drawings for each discipline.
Applicants must pay the fees set out in the Fee Schedule. The online system will provide an invoice for the applicable fees. The applicant must also log into their account and submit the appropriate Digital Seal technology. Once the application has been approved, the CP will stamp the document.
Before the building inspector will issue a permit, he or she will review the documents provided to determine if the plans meet the BC Building Code. After the building inspector has reviewed the documentation, he or she will advise the applicant on what measures need to be taken to ensure compliance with the Building Bylaw.
There are a lot of reasons why you may need to get a building permit. These include building new homes, adding or renovating a current home, upgrading utilities, and even tearing down an existing structure. Whether you plan on obtaining a local or provincial permit, it’s important to meet the deadlines and comply with all local regulations.
The District of West Vancouver is facing unprecedented levels of new building permit applications. In the past three years, it has received an average of 40 per month. It recently had 82 homebuilding permit applications in November, which is a 10-and-a-half months of volume in just three months.
If you need a building permit for your project, you will need to complete an application form and submit it to the Building Inspection Counter at the Regional District Office. You must also pay a $200 application fee.
The amount of time it takes to obtain a building permit depends on how many people are applying, the type of project you are attempting, and the time of year. A typical residential building permit takes two weeks to complete, while commercial projects can take four or more weeks.
The costs for obtaining a building permit vary from city to city. Most municipalities use a similar formula for calculating the cost of a building permit. However, the actual costs can vary based on location, size of the building, and the costs of improvements.
Generally, the cost of a building permit depends on the amount of work the project involves. This includes the value of the new house, the type of improvements, and zoning requirements.
Many people choose not to apply for a building permit, because it’s a complicated process and costs a lot of money. However, a number of municipal governments have worked to improve the permitting process.
If you do not receive a building permit for your project, you could face fines. Moreover, if you start construction on a property without a permit, you could face a doubling of the building permit fee.
To help alleviate the problem, the District of West Vancouver has issued a bulletin aimed at homeowners. It warns that they might be liable for a bylaw contravention notice on their title, which would make it more difficult for a prospective buyer to purchase the property.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.