After reviewing the Building FAQ's and determining that a permit is required, what next?
On this page, you will find what a building permit submission looks like and further details on specific types of construction and permits.
For your Residential Building Permit submission, you are required to include:
- Completed application form
- Title Search, dated within 30 days of permit application (available from BC Land Title & Survey or Speedy Search)
- Three copies of the construction drawings (site plan, floor plans, elevations, sections and details)
- Structural Engineer’s design* with Schedule B, copy of insurance and Form 2 (* P. Eng. is now required for seismic (earthquake) design elements)
- Plan processing fee - part of Building Permit fee details here
- If a form of infill housing: A Development Permit (Intensive Residential)
- Copy of new house registration through BC Housing, Licensing & Consumer Services (formerly HPO)
- Pre-construction compliance report for compliance with 9.36.6 (BC Energy Step Code)
- Servicing information if effected by project (sewer, water, storm)
- Storm water management plan for new construction or large additions
- Hazardous Material Assessment Report when renovating buildings built prior to 1990, followed by clean air certificate if removing any materials
- Other related permits/details as applicable (see Site Permits for possible requirements)
PLEASE NOTE: Only COMPLETE applications will be accepted - Please review documentation with staff prior to submission.
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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 cottage or carriage house? Central Saanich is using that term when referring to an additional detached accessory dwelling, with a carriage house being a two storey building. Think secondary suite, but in an accessory building.
The Land Use Bylaw was updated to allow detached accessory dwellings, meeting specific conditions, setbacks and with a maximum floor area. Please review the bylaw, specifically Part 4 Sections 12 and 13, as well as your particular zone for details, or check out further information here.
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.
Permits are required for both in-ground swimming pools and permanent above ground swimming pools. A building permit application would clearly show the location of the pool on the property, the area of the pool, provide a cross section through any structure, and structural engineer design as required. A plumbing permit would be required when plumbing is connected to existing systems.
The submitted site plan would also have to demonstrate compliance with the zoning bylaw. This includes showing setbacks from all pools to the property line (Section 30 (4)) and lot coverage calculations (for above ground pool and decks).
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.
If your property is served by a private sewage system AND your construction project includes any of the following, you must engage an authorized practitioner (P. Eng or ROWP) to review your system:
- New dwelling unit;
- Increase to the floor area of a dwelling;
- Increase to the number of bedrooms for a dwelling;
- Locating any new structure close to an existing septic system; or
- Construction or legalization of a secondary suite within the dwelling.
The P. Eng or ROWP would then provide, as part of a building permit application,
- an assessment letter/compliance inspection report, with certification stamp, indicating that alterations are NOT required to the septic system due to the proposed construction; or,
- a Record of Sewage System document with details of the modified or new system, accepted by Island Health (VIHA).
Private onsite sewage disposal systems are regulated by the provincial Sewerage System Regulations and monitored by Island Health . Please contact Island Health for further details.
If you are considering improvement projects on your property, such as landscaping, retaining walls or tree pruning, you may require additional permits. Further details on permits related to your site are available on the Site Works page and Tree Removal and Planting page.
It is especially important to check out the regulations relating to work on ocean front properties, near creeks, and watercourses. These permits may be issued independently or in conjunction with a building permit, but in some cases they may need to be dealt with before a building permit issuance. Our Resource Library has the related application forms you will need.