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                                                                                                                                       By Tim Powell

 A building permit is a formal approval from your municipality to construct, add to or renovate a building on your property. Building permits allow a municipality to protect the interest of both the individuals and community as a whole. By reviewing and approving plans before any work is done, the municipality can ensure that buildings comply with:

The Ontario Building Code Act thar sets standards for design and material. It was developed by the Province of Ontario in 1974 and the responsibility of Administration and Enforcement was delegated to the Municipalities. Prior to the Province developing the O.B.C., each municipality developed and implemented its own standards and regulations for construction, This led to inconsistencies in materials, standards and enforcement. The Building Code contributes to the safe construction of buildings and protects the property owner, the contractor and the municipality.

The Local Zoning By-Laws
The municipality is mandated by the Province to have Planning controls in place and as a result of this requirement the local municipality develops Comprehensive Zoning By-Laws. This document implements controls on buildings and uses that are suitable to the area.The Township of North Kawartha has two such documents, one is By-Law 524-76 as amended which is applicable to the geographical area of Chandos and the other is By-Law 66-1996 as amended which is applicable to the geographical area of Burleigh and Anstruther.

Applicable Law
This is in reference to other agencies or organizations that may have an interest or requirement for the health and safety and well being of residents, properties and the ecosystem, several of these agencies are:, Peterborough County-City Health Unit, Ministry of the Environment,  Ministry of Natural Resources, Trent Severn Water Way’s, Oceans and Fisheries Canada, Ministry of Transportation for properties fronting the Highway Corridor, County of Peterborough, Public Works Department for properties fronting the County Road System and Ontario Hydro.

The above agencies are only an example of the most common authorities having jurisdiction of some elements at a property where their approval is necessary prior to the issuance of a building permit at a Municipal level.

When do you require a Building Permit
A building permit is required when you put up a new building or place another structure on your property;  repair or add to a building. excavate or construct a foundation, install heating, plumbing or a fireplace. in some cases where you install a temporary building

What happens during Construction
During the course of construction there are a number of required inspections. When the construction project is at a certain point the owner/contractor will call the building department for these inspections. The inspector will attend the project and inspect the work to date. If the project is in compliance with the building code the project will continue. If remedial work is required a re-inspection may be necessary prior to the continuation of construction.
If the required inspections are not called for this can create a liability for the property owner as there will be an outstanding building permit, this can create a problem in respect to the remortgage or sale of a property as lawyers and lending institutions consider this as an outstanding work order. The inspections satisfy a number of issues it allows the municipality to verify compliance with the approved plans and that the building code has been complied with. It lets the property owner know that the project is in compliance with the in-effect regulations and it sets a standard for a contractor to achieve and provide safe sound work for their client.

What happens if you don’t get a building permit
Building without a permit is in violation of the Ontario Building Code Act and this could be subject to charges under Provincial Offences if this were to happen fines for a first offence can be up to $ 25,000.00 and up to $ 50,000.00 for subsequent offences.
As well fines can be imposed if orders issued under building code provisions by the building department are not complied with.

When do you not require a building permit
A building permit is not required for an accessory structure that is not going to be used for human habitation under 10 sq. metres in area (107 sq. ft.) But even if a building permit is not required the location of these accessory buildings must still comply with the Comprehensive Zoning By-Laws  for all set-backs from property lines and the lake systems as well any restriction that may be in place by other agencies must be adhered to.

In closing, the building codes are a minimum standard for the Health and Safety of all, from initial construction to final occupancy, there is no downside to obtaining the proper approvals for any project, wether it is just a building permit for that garage, deck or porch or wether you have to install a new septic system for your project to go forward it all contributes to healthy and safe development for your properties, our lakes and our community as a whole.

There are two qualified inspectors with the municipality and we are available to discuss your building and zoning needs Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., we can be reached at 1 (705 ) 656-4445.

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Other Pages in The Apsley Voice for June, 2003 ...

Page 1: Building Permits are Imperative
Page 2: Directory & Index
Page 3: Health, Walkers + Ideas
Page 4: Legion, Lions, Gardening + Taters
Page 5: Parks & Recreation
Page 6: Fish
Page 7: Letters
Page 8: Women, Birds and Computer Club
Page 9: OPP, Parade + Church News
Page 10: Library, Seniors + Historical Society
Page 11: School News
Page 12: Reeve's Report