The City of Castlegar is making changes that will simplify the building permit process for a number of projects.
The proposed changes include removal of the requirements to obtain a building permit for exterior finishing, roof/gutters/drains, fencing, retaining walls (less than 5 feet), paving and sidewalks.
The changes were proposed after a review of existing bylaws indicated that additional requirements under the building bylaw were not in alignment with adjacent local governments, and that the city was requiring permits for items that fell outside of the BC Building Code.
In collaboration with building officials in the neighbouring regional districts as well as the City of Nelson and the City of Trail it was determined that the bylaw could be revised to reduce the workload of the city’s building official and reduce requirements for specific approvals.
In 2020, 87 out of the 253 building permits issued by the city were for roofs, fences, driveways, irrigation, and exterior finishing.
According to the city, the fees related to those 87 permits were approximately $8,000 in revenue but required an equivalent of 500 hours of staff time to process. This would be an operational deficit of approximately $17,000, meaning that the staff time required to process these permits exceeded associated permit values.
After final adoption of the bylaw (scheduled for Dec. 20), city staff will create guidelines to direct landowners as to the requirements for fencing, paving, sidewalks, and landscaping necessary to align with the city’s zoning bylaw.