The Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) building services provide building permits in the regional district including the islands. Please be reminded to contact planning services staff prior to preparing a building permit application.
Frequently Asked Questions About Building Permits
- Construction of all buildings or structures over 10 square meters in area (buildings/structures under 10 square meters must still meet all zoning requirements). If there is no house on the property you cannot build any type of auxiliary building of any size in residential zones.
- All additions, renovations and alterations to existing buildings or structures (including decks, carports moved on buildings or structures over 10 square meters in area (including mobile homes)
- In-ground swimming pools exceeding 15 squares meters in area and one meter in depth
- Retaining walls 1.2 meters or higher
- Plumbing installations and alterations (including hot water heating and fire sprinkler systems)
- Change of use of a building
- Construction and installation of new wood burning stoves and chimneys
- Construction of a concrete pad or foundation on which equipment to be used for an industrial or commercial use is to be mounted
- Repair of a damaged building or structure
- Demolition or relocation of a building or structure
- Construction must be started within six months from the issuance date of the permit
- Construction shall not be discontinued or suspended for a period of more than one year
- Permit is valid for 24 months from date of issue
- At time of expiration, permits must be renewed (max. 2 renewals permitted)
An application for a permit to move or re-locate a building or structure must be accompanied by the following:
- $8000 bond for single family dwellings.
- $500 bond for accessory buildings.
- A professional engineer’s report, assessing the structural components of the moved in building, listing any life safety issues that must be brought up to current BC Building Code standards, including the lateral load requirements.
- A temporary permit can be issued for the use of a building or recreational vehicle to provide accommodation for the resident during construction of a principal dwelling on a parcel.
- A temporary permit is only valid for twelve months and can only be issued once the permit for the principal dwelling has been issued.
- Application for a temporary permit must be made in writing to Building Services Division stating the intended use of the temporary building.
- Application must be accompanied by a $1000 bond.
Frequently Asked Questions About RV Dwellings and Tiny Houses
An RV is a recreational vehicle designed to be used as temporary quarters for recreational, camping or travel use. RVs come in many forms such as 5th wheels, travel trailers, motor homes or campers and normally come from the factory with permanently affixed wheels. They are regulated under the BC Motor Vehicle Act. Park Models are a larger version also designed for use in RV parks or campgrounds. Although they sometimes appear similar to a manufactured home, they are not the same and do not comply with dwelling regulations.
This term is used interchangeably for different kinds of units, all sharing a small scale <400 sqft. They may be built to be portable, often on a flatbed trailer, and as such are similar to an RV (see above). Under Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) bylaws, these are the same as trailers or RVs and do not meet the requirements of a dwelling (or cabin).
Alternatively, if constructed under an approved Building Permit in compliance with the BC Building Code (on a permanent foundation) connected to an approved septic field, they can serve as permanent or seasonal dwellings.
Note: as SCRD Zoning Bylaws sets no minimum dwelling area, one can apply to build a house <400 sqft BUT the same submission and permit requirements apply as for a larger home, including HPO.
No. In residential (inc. rural) zones the Zoning and Building Bylaw require construction of a dwelling or installation of a manufactured home, meeting BC Building Code, CSA A277 MH or CSA Z-240 MH standards (manufactured homes aka mobiles or modulars), under an issued Building Permit. An RV will have either a CSA Z-240 RV or CSA Z-241 Park Model sticker, neither of which comply with the BC Building Code.
Unless specifically permitted by zoning (e.g. commercial campground zones), camping in an RV or tent is not a permitted use. Given the following example: you have a family reunion one long weekend, and some teens sleep in a tent or RV in your yard, the SCRD has neither received complaints nor taken enforcement action in such a case.
The use of an RV as a dwelling has never been permitted; however, as fuel prices and RV sizes increase, there is an increase in the use of RVs as permanent (year round) and seasonal dwellings in rural areas. Many have their wheels removed as well as unlawful additions such as decks, roofs, and utility rooms constructed onto or adjacent the unit. Some even have a wood burning stove within the unit. The concerns include:
- Environment: lack of filed/approved septic systems, often in proximity of lakes, watercourses, and wells.
- Equity: RVs are not an ‘improvement’ thus not taxed, so all other complying owners pay more.
- Safety: risk of fire from electrical overload or carbon monoxide poisoning are real and have led to deaths.
- Property value: RVs installed on neighboring parcels reduce the value and sale potential of a residence.
Other agencies which may have concerns and be involved include Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Assessment, Ministry of Environment, and the Agricultural Land Commission.
The SCRD takes these matters seriously and while we typically respond on a complaint basis, enforcement action may commence given no complaint.
These FAQs are to assist and must not be construed by the reader as a right to a development approval. Consult BC legislation, codes, and applicable bylaws, such as Building and Zoning, for full requirements, procedures, and policies.