Area H Building Inspection
All areas of the Regional District of Nanaimo will soon have an opportunity to be serviced by building inspection. Why am I recommending building inspection in Electoral Area H? Because building inspection enforces existing bylaws and Provincial Acts, and protects investments made in your property and housing. Building Inspection will ensure that new development and construction meets basic standards and is consistent with local zoning and our Official Community Plan. In addition, the service supports environmental storm water management practices, and health regulations for septic systems that protect our groundwater supplies and our fish and marine habitat. Buildinginspection also aids in the creating of sustainable communities.
In the past I have resisted the call for Building Inspection in Electoral Area H because I felt that our OCP community-directed development permit process would work. It does, but only for those who apply.
As development pressures have increased, our bylaw infractions the Lighthouse Community Hall. I session on this issue on October 4 at an Open House/general information public consultation. There will be of the majority of residents to protect housing prices, it is in the best interest that with current property values and the community to ask questions have increased ignoring our OCP requirements building and then, if they get caught, they are applying for development variance permits after the fact. Often people are ignoring zoning, setbacks, lot lines, new provincial septic permit regulations, riparian areas, hazardous slopes, environmentally sensitive areas, and the B.C. Building Code. It is important to note that the B.C. Building Code applies to all construction in the Province whether or not the local authority decides to regulate and administer the process under a Building Bylaw. There is therefore a risk of future liability to property owners who choose to build out of compliance with the code.
I am now supporting Building Inspection in Electoral Area H for all land zoned Rural, Rural Residential, Industrial, Comprehensive Development, and in the Village Nodes. I firmly believe their future investment.
The RDN Board has introduced the amendment to include Area H in the Building Inspection area, but the Bylaw will not be considered for adoption until after a period of encourage anyone who is interested in this issue to attend. The information session will run from 3pm to 8pm.
It will provide an opportunity for the community to ask questions and provide comments about building inspection, and discuss how this service could affect properties or building plans. I am looking forward to this information session, and to the opportunity to hear your concerns.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns about building inspection. Tel: 757-9737, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 757-9705.
More Information about Building Inspection
What is the cost of this service?
Building inspection is paid for mainly by user fees that are based on the value of construction. Because building inspection service benefits everyone in the community it is partly funded through a tax requisition. At present this works out to be roughly $2 per $100,000 of assessed value, for those areas currently included in the service.
What other Acts affect construction?
There are several bylaws and provincial acts that affect all construction in the RDN. If you construct a single or multifamily dwelling unit you must adhere to:
When is a building permit required?
A permit is required for any construction including farm buildings, accessory buildings, retaining walls and separate chimneys. A permit is also needed prior to locating mobile homes.
When is a permit not required?
Fences under two meters high, retaining walls less than 1.5 meters high retaining less than 1.5 meters of earth and accessory buildings less than ten square meters in area do not require building permits.
Is a permit required for interior renovation ?
Yes, if it involves changing a structural support or load bearing component, or creating a new room or change of occupancy. A permit is also required if the work involves altering or building a chimney or fireplace or any change in use or occupancy of the building. We recommend that residents consult with the building department to determine if a permit is required.
How do I get a building permit ?
Apply at the RDN Administrative Office at 6300 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo. Bring application documents which may include two sets of scaled drawings, truss drawings, survey certificate, septic approval, and a homeowners protection certification.
Riparian Areas Regulation Update
The Regional District of Nanaimo has now passed the required Bylaw amendments to bring its Official Community Plans into compliance with the newly enacted Provincial Riparian Areas Regulation. The Board held two well-attended public information meetings and a public hearing in September to keep residents informed about this process.
In cooperation with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Provincial Ministry of Environment implemented the Riparian Areas Regulation on March 31, 2006. The legislation aims to protect the features, functions, and conditions that support fish health and habitat in riparian areas. The regulation applies to all new residential, commercial, and industrial developments adjacent to a freshwater stream. The regulation does not apply to properties adjacent to the ocean, nor does it apply to reconstruction or repair of existing structures, farm uses on agricultural lands, or lands subject to the Forest Act or Private Managed Forest Land Act.
The Riparian Areas Regulation requires local governments to protect their riparian areas in accordance with the regulation by amending their current zoning bylaws and/or Official Community Plans. Therefore, the RDN Bylaw amendments designate new fish habitat protection development permit areas and/or amend existing watercourse protection Development Permit Areas in each Official Community Plan area. A development permit may now be required for all development proposed within a riparian area. If you would like more information about this new Regulation, please call the RDN planning department at 390-6510 or 954-3798.
Sustainable Community Builder Checklist
I am pleased to inform you that the Regional District of Nanaimo is in the early stages of developing a Sustainability Community Builder Checklist. The purpose of this checklist is to have residents and developers voluntarily think about how to build and develop property in a sustainable manner. Our intention is to produce a checklist that is user-friendly and that will allow proponents the freedom to present alternative sustainable practices. It is proposed that the checklist be used during the review of land use bylaw amendments, subdivsions, and development permit applications.
I believe this will be a real achievement given that building a sustainable region is of prime concern to our residents and the basis of our Regional Growth Strategy. The checklist has taken months to develop using the Regional Growth Strategy as a guide, the Region’s Sustainability Indicators and the best practices used in other regions around the world.