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If your proposed accessory building (also called detached or outbuilding) is larger than 10 square meters in size (107 square feet), then a building permit is required to demonstrate compliance with the building code. If you are wanting to building a small shed, such as 10 x 10 or 8 x 12, a building permit is not required. However, regardless of the size of the building, any accessory building is required to comply with the zoning bylaw regulations, such as setbacks and lot coverage, so remember to check out the property zoning and regulations in the Land Use Bylaw. Further information can be found in the Guide to Accessory Buildings.
If your property is zoned residential, you are permitted one single family dwelling and one secondary suite (located within the dwelling unit). By definition, a single family dwelling is used for residential accommodation for one family having not more than one cooking facility. The "Guide to Residential Building Permits" outlines the permit process and minimum plan requirements. Also, check out page 2 of the Residential Building Permit Application for permit requirements and necessary documents.
In some cases, you may be wishing to build a new dwelling, while living in the existing house - this is permitted with the payment of a deposit as well as the registration of a covenant to ensure that the existing building is removed or altered to an accessory building when the new house is completed. Please refer to Part 5, Section 23(2) of the Land Use Bylaw for the specific regulations.
If your property is zoned residential, you are permitted one single family dwelling and one secondary suite, which must be located within the dwelling unit. A Secondary Suite can not be located in a detached or accessory building, or attached to the main dwelling by a breezeway. Permits are required to construct a new secondary suite or to legalize an existing unauthorized suite. The permit process is in place to confirm that the health and safety requirements of the BC Building Code are being met. Check out our "Guide to Secondary Suites" for details on the minimum requirements for compliance.
What is a carriage house? Central Saanich is using that term when referring to an additional detached residential building. Think secondary suite, but in an accessory building. Currently, there is only one residential zone that permits a carriage house; however, this zone was created for one specific property which went through a rezoning process to allow the additional dwelling unit instead of a secondary suite. Over the last couple of years, there have been a few rural properties that have obtained zoning amendment from Council to allow a carriage house in place of a secondary suite.
At this time, rezoning is required for any carriage house use. If permitted by Council, a residential building permit would be required prior to construction. If you are interested in learning more about the future of residential infill in Central Saanich, check out the progress of our Residential Infill and Densification Project.
Short term or vacation rentals are not permitted in residential zones.
Every property in Central Saanich is located in a particular zone, with specific uses permitted. A typical residential property may allow a single family house, a secondary suite within the house as well as a licenced home occupation. “Temporary” or “travel” accommodations are specifically defined in the District’s Land Use Bylaw, and must be listed as permitted in your particular zone in order to offer short term rentals.
For example, a “Bed and Breakfast” use is only permitted in an A-1 (Agricultural) zone; and “Travel Accommodation” is only permitted in the C5 and C-6A (Commercial) zones. The following clause from the Land Use Bylaw means that if the use isn’t listed as permitted in a specific zone, it is then prohibited in that zone.
“Uses of land, buildings and structures listed under the heading “Permitted uses” in this Part are permitted in the zone in question and all other uses are prohibited in that zone.”
Any further questions about the Land Use Bylaw, the permitted uses or the zoning amendment process, please contact the Planning Department at 250-544-4209 or Bylaw Enforcement at 250-544-4237.
If you are planning on replacing or building a new deck, a building permit would be required. The first item to consider, would be the zoning of the property, and the permitted setbacks and lot coverage for your property. Check out the main Building page FAQ's for information on zoning and land use. Your permit application would include a site plan and all the construction details, from the footing, to beams and guards around the deck. Click here for the Guide to Deck Construction for details.
A permit is not required if you are only replacing existing decking material or existing complying guard rails. Any structural replacement or alterations, any increase to deck area, or to enclose any existing deck would require a building permit.
Wood-burning appliances, such as wood stoves or an insert, require a permit to install in an existing code complying masonry chimney. The Fire Inspector will process and issue this type of permit. Please contact the Fire Department for more information at 250-544-4238, or find the application form here. If you are rebuilding or constructing a new masonry chimney, a building permit is required.
To demolish a building or structure, or to remove interior partitions, you are still required to complete and submit the regular building permit application form. As part of the permit submission, you should include a site plan of the property, indicating which building is to be removed or demolished or floor plans showing the interior alterations. Prior to issuing a demo permit for a building, staff would need to cap any existing municipal services. This can be arranged through the District's Engineering Department.
In addition, please check with Worksafe BC about the safe removal of any hazardous materials, as per the provincial regulations.
Plumbing permits from Central Saanich are required for new or altered plumbing systems, such as adding a bathroom, or relocating existing fixtures and for irrigation systems. The permit can be issued to a ticketed plumber (Trades Qualification as well as current Business Licence) or competent homeowner. If a homeowner is applying for a plumbing permit, they must demonstrate plumbing code knowledge and submit an isometric drawing of the proposed plumbing prior to permit issuance. If the plumbing permit is related to a building permit, the building permit must be issued prior to the plumbing permit. Typical inspections would be under-slab plumbing, rough-in plumbing, custom shower bases and final.