Building Safety

Spring 2021 construction progress of the Sooke branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library, estimated completion: Spring 2022

Updated May 12, 2021

Building Safety is responsible for the approval of residential, commercial, and industrial construction within the Municipality. All construction is required to meet the B.C. Building Code 2018, Plumbing Code 2018, Fire Code 2018, Energy Code 2017, Bylaw 70 Building Regulation, and all other applicable local bylaws. With a few exceptions, all construction in the District of Sooke requires a building permit before you begin any project.

Every property owner shall obtain all required permits or approvals, pay all fees, and provide all deposits prior to the commencement of work. Permit applications are to be submitted to the District of Sooke’s Building Safety Department. General guidelines are available when you apply for a permit.

We are working hard to make Sooke’s building permit process as quick and easy as possible while maintaining the District’s safety, livability and sustainability for you, your neighbours, and future property owners and residents. The resources on this page are available to assist you with this process.


Building Bylaw No. 780

Adopted: February 8, 2021.

Intent: A bylaw for the administration of the BC Building Code and regulation of construction within the District of Sooke.

READ BYLAW >>


Important Information

  • BC Code Changes – On December 10, 2018, a new Building Code, Plumbing Code, and Fire Code were introduced in British Columbia. The province has provided free access to the new codes here.
  • National Energy Code – In 2017, a federal energy code was introduced to set out technical requirements for the energy-efficient design and construction of new buildings. When applying for a building permit, you will need to submit an application for the building, the plumbing, and if applicable woodstove and/or oil tank.
  • COVID-19 Safety during inspections: Building inspections will continue with options available (video and photo may be accepted) depending on the type of inspection. Onsite inspections may continue in unoccupied buildings at the discretion of the Building Official. Contact Building Safety for more information.
  • Further details can be found at the Homeowner Protection Office or Building Safety and Standards Branch websites.

Permit Types

Building Permit

Every property owner shall obtain all required permits or approvals, pay all fees, and provide all deposits prior to the commencement of work.

building permit is required before constructing, repairing, altering, moving, or demolishing a building or structure.

If the applicant is not the owner of the property, an Owner’s Authorization form (see page 5 of building/plumbing permit application form) must be submitted. All property owners registered on the Certificate of Title must provide written approval to allow the applicant to act on their behalf.

The Municipality does not issue the following permits:

Demolition Permit

demolition permit is required when demolishing a building or structure. The owner must ensure:

  • services for the building being demolished are sealed at the property line;
  • measures are taken to protect the safety of the public while the demolition is in progress, including the erecting of barricades or fencing to prevent unauthorized or inadvertent entry to the site, and posting security personnel at the site when appropriate;
  • notify the Sooke Fire Department when commencing demolition;
  • complete demolition within 3 days for a building less than 185.8 m², and within 6 days for a building greater than 185.8 m²; and
  • liability insurance of $2 million, naming the District of Sooke as insured, for structures greater than 185.8 m².
Highway Use Permits

Permission to construct an access over Municipal property to the homeowner property requires the following:

Contact the Engineering Department for more information regarding Highway use permits

Plumbing Permit

plumbing permit is required when installing, altering and repairing plumbing, including sewer connections and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, appliances and accessories. The bylaw does not apply to plumbing repair or replacement which does not require a change in piping.


Resources

Request for Property Information

A Request for Property Information form must be submitted and signed by the property owner or an authorized registered agent.  An Owner’s Authorization form or documents indicating the agent is authorized is required when submitting your request.

Examples of information that may be available are:

  • Building Permits
  • Occupancy Certificates
  • Site Surveys
  • Woodstove/Oil Tank Permits

Inquire with the Fire Department (250-642-5422) for:

  • Oil Tanks
  • Structure Fires

Speak to the Planning Department with regards to:

  • Zoning inquires
  • Riparian Area Regulations
  • Archeological Sites
  • Development Permits
  • Variance Permits

We have some information available through our GIS Map on our website:

  • Property Info Report
  • Zoning Bylaw Information

Historical Data

Building Build Review (complete)

The District is recently updated the Building Regulation Bylaw to ensure it aligns with the British Columbia Building Code, the British Columbia Building Act, and the British Columbia Architects Act. Over several months, with public input, a new bylaw was prepared and adopted on February 8, 2021. The following provides more information in relation to this process:

EventDate & TimeDetails
Survey Open: September 23, 2020
Closed: October 21, 2020
Survey Link
MS Teams Live EventThursday, October 22, 2020 at 6:00 pmNew Building Bylaw-Virtual Meeting Presentation
Virtual Meeting - Q _ A
Regular Council MeetingMonday, November 23, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
(Bylaw was not provided 1,2,3 reading - More information coming in early 2021)
1st, 2nd & 3rd reading of the bylaw.
Bylaw, survey results, live event comments, and staff report will be presented for discussion.
Agenda
Regular Council MeetingMonday, December 14, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
*Delayed until 2021
Adoption of the bylaw.
Education PublicationComing SoonBrochure with details and important information regarding changes to the building bylaw.