Lake Country - Life. The Okanagan Way.

British Columbia, Canada


The Why and When about Building Permits

Why do you need to obtain a building permit?

Building permits allow your municipality to protect the interests of both individuals and the community as a whole. By reviewing and approving building plans before any work is done, the municipality can ensure that buildings comply with:

  • the BC Building Code, which sets standards for the design and construction of buildings to meet objectives such as health, safety, fire protection, accessibility and energy efficiency
  • the local zoning by-law and other planning controls on buildings
  • other applicable legislation, including Interior Health Authority, Riparian Area Regulations Environmental Sensitive Areas.

When do you need a building permit?

You must obtain a building permit before you:

  • construct any new building over ten square meters in area or place another structure, such as a mobile home, on your property
  • make renovations or repairs or add to a building
  • excavate or construct a foundation
  • construct a seasonal building
  • construct a retaining wall over 5 feet in height
  • installation, alterations and additions to plumbing systems including the installation of solar hot water systems and fire protection sprinkler systems
  • placement or removal of fuel storage tanks
  • installation of temporary buildings larger than 30 m2 , including fabric covered structures
  • installation or alteration of mechanical exhaust and fire protection systems for commercial cooking equipment pursuant to NFPA 96 Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations
  • construction, installation or alteration of chimneys or fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances
  • construction, additions or alterations of on‐site services for manufactured home parks, campgrounds, recreation vehicle parks, commercial, industrial and multi‐family residential developments
  • construction of swimming pool fences
  • change of occupancy classification for a building or part of a building
  • moving of buildings into or within the District
  • construction of a new secondary or accessory suite
  • demolition of buildings or structures
  • erecting sign structures including awnings, canopies or marquees.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Please contact the Building Division at 250-766-6675 for more information.

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