Building Permits

Building Permit Application Process

On July 1, 2012, the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, Development Procedures Bylaw No. 613, 2012, came into force and is applicable to lands within the Regional District that is subject to a Regional District official settlement plan, official community plan, rural land use bylaw or zoning bylaw.  Within Development Procedures Bylaw No. 613, is the requirement that, prior to any new construction, a property owner must complete an application for a Building Declaration and Siting Approvals Permit and submit it to the Regional District office for approval.

The Building Declaration and Siting Approvals Permit, commonly referred to as a “Building Permit”, is a permit application process designed to ensure that all proposed new construction will meet the building requirements in the applicable zoning bylaws.  The following is a guide to the “Building Permit” process. 

What is a Building Declaration and Siting Approvals Permit?

It is a “building permit” to ensure all proposed new construction will meet the building requirements of the applicable zoning bylaw.  The Regional District does not provide building inspection services therefore the building permit does not approve that the building constructed under the permit will meet the BC Building Code or BC Fire Code.  This does not excuse the property owner from the responsibility of building according to these codes. 

Through the building permit staff will be checking to ensure that proposed new construction will meet such building requirements as setbacks from property lines, maximum gross floor area, and height of a building.  A building permit is required before construction.  There is no charge for a building permit but failure to submit a building permit application can result in enforcement action, including a fine of $350.

When do I need a “Building Permit”?

A building permit is required for most types of construction with a few exceptions.  A building permit is required for principal use structures of any size and for any addition to an existing building.  A building permit is required for any accessory structure greater than 10.0 square meters. 

A principal use structure is a structure used for the principal (primary) use of the property.  For example, on residential zoned properties the principal use structure is a house. 

A Regional District building permit may not be the only permit required as part of any new construction.  Other agencies may also require permits, examples include, sewerage disposal permits, Homeowner Protection Office registration, Agricultural Land Commission permits, gas and electrical permits and water licenses.  Regional District staff can help advise an applicant as to what permits might be required and how to contact the permitting agency.  Ultimately, it is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure all requirements are met.

Building Permit Process

  1. Prior to construction contact the Regional District office regarding property zoning and building regulations.  Some zoning bylaws and zoning maps are available on the Regional District website in the Development Services section.
  2. Obtain a Regional District building permit application and complete page one of the permit and provide a sketch plan of the proposed new construction.  Staff can provide a Guide to the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine Building Declaration and Siting Approvals Permit to help complete the application.
  3. Submit the application to the Regional District office where Planning Department staff will review the application.  If necessary staff will indicate if any changes are needed or additional information is required to complete the application.  If the application is satisfactorily completed staff will sign the permit as received.  This is not final approval.
    1. In some cases more information may be required.  This may include a site inspection, other Regional District permits or other agency permits.  A common requirement for new construction is a Surveyor’s Certificate of Location.  See more information on Surveyor Certificates below.
  4. Final approval will require the signature of the Bylaw Enforcement Officer.  Final approval will only be granted once the conditions of the permit are met.  Sometimes approval to begin construction can be granted with the only outstanding requirement remaining that a Surveyor’s Certificate be submitted.

What is a Surveyor’s Certificate of Location?

A Surveyor’s Certificate of Location is a site plan completed by a registered BC Land Surveyor that locates the structures on the property in relation to property lines.  It can also include building dimensions, setbacks from the natural boundary of water bodies, location of easements and rights of way, and elevation information.  It is not a resurveying of the property.

When is a Surveyor’s Certificate of Location required?

Surveyor’s Certificates are a requirement in most building permit applications with a few exceptions.  They are required for all principal use structures, any additions to an existing structure where the addition is within 2 meters of the required setback and for any ancillary (secondary) structure greater than 20 square meters.  Ancillary structures constructed more than 25 meters from property lines do not require a Surveyor’s Certificate.  Failure to provide a Surveyor’s Certificate can result in a fine of $750.

When do I get a Surveyor to come to my property?

It depends.  If you are confident you know where the property lines are and you are not likely to encroach on the required setbacks then you can wait until the structure is substantially complete.  However, if you are wrong about the location of the property line you may be required to seek a variance or move the building. 

The other option is to have a surveyor locate the property line before beginning construction, marking the location of the required setback.  This option provides more certainty for the builder who can then accurately locate the site of the new structure.  The surveyor would have to return a second time and measure the location of the structure after it is substantially complete.  Note that all setbacks are measured from the furthest extent of the building, such as a roof overhang, not from the wall or foundation. 

Click HERE for a printable version of this information.

Click HERE for a Building Declaration and Siting Approval Permit

Click HERE for a Guide to the Building Declaration and Siting Approvals Permit