Renos need permits in Salmon Arm

People doing major renovations to their houses will be required to get a permit under Salmon Arm’s new building bylaw.

People doing major renovations to their houses will be required to get a permit under Salmon Arm’s new building bylaw.

At the Oct. 24 city council meeting, council approved the adoption of a new building bylaw.

Although much of the bylaw contains general housekeeping updates and changes for consistency with BC Building Code amendments, three amendments were pointed out to council in a report from Maurice Roy, manager of permits and licensing.

The one in particular that council discussed pertains to renovations.

“Currently the building bylaw does not apply to the ‘non-structural repair and maintenance of structures on parcels zoned for single family residential occupancy,’” wrote Roy. “This statement is so broad that, without permit, the full renovating of houses is occurring including the removal of non-load bearing interior walls, insulation, vapour barrier, plumbing pipes, electrical wiring and heating systems. In effect the house is almost being rebuilt with no inspections whatsoever.”

The amendment proposed was that the bylaw would apply to: “the renovation of a building when such work includes but is not limited to the alteration of room layouts, alteration of the insulation/vapour barrier in an exterior wall, creation of new openings in exterior walls or the completion of previously unfinished floor areas.”

It would not apply to “the non-structural repair and maintenance of buildings or structures on a parcel zoned for single family residential occupancy under the current City of Salmon Arm Zoning Bylaw.” (except as required by the amendment above.)

Coun. Chad Eliason remarked: “I know the public may feel this is another level of bureaucracy… but to me this is kind of a common sense approach to allow safe housing for current or future tenants.”

Coun. Ken Jamieson agreed, adding that the cost of the permit to the person gutting a house and doing a major renovation would be minimal.

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