Frequently Asked Questions

Building Permits
Do I need a permit?

Please see Division 1, section 104 of the Kamloops Building By-law Division 1 to determine when a permit is and isn't required.

What does a permit cost?

There are two different costs for a permit: the application fee and the actual permit fee. The permit application fee is based on the type of application while the actual building permit fee is based on the value of construction. Please see Appendix A of the Kamloops Building By-law No. 11-80 for a list of application and permit fees.

How long does it take to get a permit?

Depending on the size of the project, processing times can vary. Our targets are as follows:

  • New single and two family dwelling building permit applications within two weeks
  • Tenant improvement permit applications within 3-4 weeks
  • Smaller commercial permit applications without a development permit or off-site works and services 3-4 weeks

Large commercial permits, including development permits and/or off-site works and services, vary by project; a pre-application meeting with our Planning, Engineering, Fire & Rescue, and Building representatives can be arranged by calling 250-828-3554. During this meeting, the processing time for the permit can be estimated.

How long is a permit active?

Please see Division 6, section 614 of the Kamloops Building By-law

Why do I have to have my approved plans on site?

The approved building plans, along with the building permit, form an important element of the building permit documents. The plans are likely to have been amended during the processing & approval processes, in order to reflect the requirements of City of Kamloops' by-laws. It is important that the approved plans are available to the Building Official on site when he conducts his/her inspection, as they may be different from the initial plans.

The City of Kamloops Building By-law also requires the approved plans to be on site until the inspection is approved. You are asked to have the approved plans on site before the Building Official arrives for his/her inspection, and the Building Official will not perform the inspection unless the approved plans are on site.

It is our policy to assess a re-inspection fee if work is not ready for inspection more than once, or if plans are not available at the time of inspection. The re-inspection fee must be paid before the inspection will be carried out.

Residential
How do I request an inspection?

You can request an inspection 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling the inspection line at 250-828-3300. The following information is required: 

  • your address
  • permit number
  • the type of inspection you wish to have
When is a geotechnical engineer required?

In certain areas of the city a Geotechnical Engineer is required by covenants placed against the property. Please check your Certificate of Title and associated covenants to see if this applies to you. At the time of inspection, the inspector may request a Geotechnical Engineer if the inspector feels that the site conditions, soil types, contours or drainage require special foundation design.

When do I pay my development cost charges?

Development cost charges shall be paid in full prior to issuance of a building permit. See the DCC By-law for more information.

Are permits required for hot tubs?

Hot tubs are defined as pools in Building By-law 11-80, as they capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 600mm (2 ft). Therefore all of the conditions of Division 8 of Building By-law 11-80 also apply to hot tubs.

What are the pool requirements?

All the requirements for a pool permit are listed in Division 8 in Building By-law 11-80

How do I get my woodstove inspected?

The Building Inspection Division inspects wood burning appliances for conformance to the BC Building Code. The installation must meet both the CSA standard for the "Installation Code for Solid Fuel Appliances and Equipment" and the manufacturers installation instructions.

You can arrange for an inspection by obtaining a Solid Fuel Appliance Permit at the City of Kamloops Development Engineering Services Department, located at 105 Seymour Street. The permit fee is $50 and an inspection can be arranged at time of payment; the inspector can come to your house as soon as the following day. On the inspection day, you may wish to call the area Building Inspector prior to 9:30 a.m. to arrange the inspection time.

How far does my woodstove have to be from the wall?

Clearances are regulated by the CAN/CSA-B365 Installation Code for Solid-Fuel-Burning Appliances and Equipment. Appliances are tested and certified by CSA or the Underwriters Laboratory of Canada. A label showing the distances from combustible materials of which the appliance was tested is usually attached to the appliance, most often on the back.

The appliance must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications on the label. It is possible to install brick, ceramic or sheet metal shielding on your walls or ceiling and reduce the required clearance in accordance with the CSA Standard.

What if my stove doesn't have a label?

We only accept certified appliances. Consult your insurance underwriter for non-certified appliance approvals.

How is the clearance measured?

Clearance is measured from the wall surface. If a shield is installed to protect a wall that is considered to be combustible, the clearance is still measured from the wall.

Where is the non-combustible pad under the appliance required?

The pad under the stove is required to protect the floor from embers when you open the door. The pad must extend 18 inches from the appliance at the loading side and 8 inches on the other sides according to the CSA Installation Standard.

Can I use my existing chimney?

A solid fuel-burning appliance must be connected to either a masonry chimney conforming to the BC Building Code or a factory-built chimney conforming to ULC standard S629. In many cases, the existing chimney (masonry or metal) may not conform to current standards or manufacturers' appliance requirements. Therefore, it would require review by a qualified mason/installer prior to considering installation of a solid fuel-burning appliance.

What are the requirements for retaining walls taller than 1.2 m?

A registered professional shall undertake the design and conduct field reviews of the construction of a retaining structure greater than 1.2 m (4 ft.) in height. The following documents must be submitted to the building official:

  • Sealed copies of the design and plan certification
  • field reviews by means of letters of assurance (Schedule B and C-B as referred to in Section 2.6 of Part 2 of the Building Code)
What are the requirements for garden sheds?

Accessory buildings in residential zones which do not exceed 10 m (108 sq. ft.) in building area may be placed or constructed. A siting permit is required to ensure that the building is sited in accordance with Zoning By-law No. 5-1-2001, as amended from time to time, and any other applicable enactment. Once built, an inspection to confirm the location is required.

What are the requirements for accessory buildings?

No permit shall be issued for the construction of an accessory building or structure on any site unless the principal building to which the accessory building or structure is an accessory has been constructed or will be constructed simultaneously with said accessory building or structure. The building must also meet all the Building By-Law requirements for what your property is zoned for.

Commercial
Do I need a building permit for a commercial alteration?

Yes.

When do I require an architect?

The BC Building Code specifies that when the building area exceeds 600 m², over three storys in height or contains an assembly (restaurant, theatre, gym, club, church) or institutional occupancy (hospital, care facility), the Building Code requires supervision by a registered professional architect or engineer.

When is Public Health approval required?

Drawings submitted for a building permit must be first approved by Public Health when they include a public swimming pool or hot tub (including apartment buildings or care facilities), food store, bakery, food processing, water bottling, daycare for more than ten, a group home for more than seven, a community care facility or a slaughter house.

The Interior Health Authority's inspectors can be reached at 250-851-7340 or by fax 250-851-7341.

When is a geotechnical report required?

The Community Charter states that "a Building Official may require an engineering report when construction is proposed on land that may be subject to flood, mud flows, debris torrents, erosion, landslip, rock falls and subsidence or avalanche". In Kamloops, we most often encounter a risk of subsidence due to silt bluff and risk of landslip on steep sites.

The report will identify hazards, provide recommendations to address the site conditions, and certify that "the land is safe for the use intended".

The City will rely on the report when making decisions regarding development of the land and the report will be registered on the title of the property with a covenant to advise any future purchasers of the potential risks and the remediation that has taken place.

When are development cost charges collected?

Development cost charges shall be paid in full prior to issuance of a building permit. See the DCC By-law for more information.

What types of projects are exempt from development cost charges?

See the DCC By-law for information on which projects are exempt.

Demolition or Moving Buildings
Do I need a permit to demolish a building?

A separate demolition permit is required to demolish a building unless you already have an active building permit for reconstruction that includes the demolition work.

What is required for a demolition permit?

An application from the building owner or his/her agent, a site plan and a Demolition Sign-off Application for all utilities on that property are required for a demolition permit to be issued. A security is to be provided in a form satisfactory to the Building Inspector to ensure that the site of the demolition will be left in a safe, neat condition, free from debris or dust and compliant with neighbourhood properties. The amount of security shall be equal to the estimated cost of the site restoration and shall be acceptable to the Building Inspector. Permit fees shall be in accordance with the Division 11 of Building By-law No. 11-80.

What do I do with the sewer and water connections when I demolish a building?

Every person submitting an application for a permit to demolish a building shall, as part of their application, provide the Building Inspector with satisfactory evidence that no unsafe condition will be created or permitted and all utility services to the building have been disconnected and all such disconnections have been approved by the appropriate authority.