The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is starting the process to implement building inspections in rural areas.
During a CSRD electoral area director’s committee meeting, Dec. 2, it was decided building inspection procedures will start with Electoral Areas B (rural Revelstoke) and E (rural Sicamous), and the number of required inspections will increase in F (North Shuswap).
Area F is currently the only area in the district requiring inspections, currently sitting at three-required inspections.
Allan Neilson, of Neilson-Welch Consulting Inc. initially presented a building-inspection report to the CSRD, and provided recommendations during the meeting.
He recommended the district implement a six-level inspection service, opposed to a three-level one, which would require inspections at: the footing construction stage (before concrete), installation of perimeter drainage pipe and drain rock (prior to backfilling), installation of building drain, sanitary or storm sewer and plumbing system (prior to backfilling), the framing construction stage (before drywall) and the insulation and the vapour barrier and air barrier stage completion stage, according to the report.
He also recommended avoiding a referendum, instead focusing on a communication strategy to allow the public to learn about the costs and benefits of building inspections.
“I can see that point of view and appreciate the experienced advice,” said Area C director Paul Demenok, regarding the referendum. He proposed to conduct a survey in his area.
“I have had several groups in the community approach me and ask for a building inspection,” he said.
Area C (South Shuswap) was initially part of the plans for starting in January 2018, but Demenok expressed concerns with starting the process too soon, saying he would rather begin communications in 2019 to ensure his area is well-educated on the topic.
The directors agreed to develop a communications strategy to provide education to the areas, and allow Area C to be included in the process when ready.
There was also discussion on how the areas would be staffed.
One additional full-time union position would be a solution, as well as looking into contract positions if additional work is needed, said Gerald Christie, manager of development services.
“The group is reluctant to staff on full-time basis,” said Neilson.
A motion was passed to start the process for a six-level building inspection service in January 2018, which will be presented to the regular board at a later date.