Building Permits

A building permit is required for the following:

  • Construction of a new building.
  • Construction of a new accessory building or an accessory structure (garage, shed, etc.)
  • Renovations, repairs or additions to an existing building
  • Completion of a previously unfinished area in an existing building
  • Construction of a new commercial kitchen or renovate an existing commercial kitchen
  • Enclosure of a porch or roof over a sundeck
  • Building relocation or demolition
  • Plumbing work
  • Connection to municipal services
  • Chimney or solid fuel burning appliance (fireplace or wood stove) construction or installation
  • Swimming pool construction 

Permits are not required for residential fence construction, non-structural minor modifications such as: cupboards, perimeter hedges, painting, or landscaping. 

Note: Although the work above does not require permits, homeowners should ensure that the construction conforms to the requirements of the Provincial Building Code and Applicable City of Fort St. John Bylaws. 

Things you should know when planning your projects:

  1. Check the zoning allocated to your property to ensure your intended use is permitted. Refer to the City of Fort St. John Zoning Bylaw [PDF - 31 MB] for in depth descriptions.
  2. Check the required setbacks from the property lines and the maximum site coverage permitted. Information may be found in the City of Fort St. John Zoning Bylaws [PDF - 6 MB] or by contacting the Planning and Engineering Department.
  3. Check the location and depth of services (water, storm, sanitary sewer, street lights, gas, hydro, communications, etc.) by calling BC ONE CALL. For Shaw Cable services please contact Dig Shaw as they do not subscribe to the BC One Call. Any inquiries pertaining to municipal services, new service connections, culverts and road accessibility may be directed to the Planning and Engineering Department.
  4. Check for easements or rights-of-way on your property. Municipal records are not always complete. Easements and right-of-way information is available at the Land Titles Office.
  5. Check for requirements that pertain to commercial cooking in the Bulletin - Commercial Kitchens. [PDF - 177 KB]

BC Energy Step Code requirements

On May 1st 2023, the BC Building Code will require that all new builds must be 20 per cent more energy-efficient than the base building code requirements today, which is Step 3 for Part 9 buildings, and Step 2 for Part 3 buildings. 

Achieving Step Code compliance

Steps you can take to meet BC Energy Step Code requirementsThe builder works with an energy advisor from the design phase to create a model (energy efficiency target) for the new build.

  • Energy Advisor provides a standardized “pre-built” report that is to be submitted at the time of building permit application. - Refer to Part 9 Compliance Tools. Note: the building permit will not be issued without a satisfactory energy model from a qualified third party.
  • The builder and energy advisor stay in communication throughout the build. The energy model is updated with any changes to the design (e.g. window specification updates, mechanical system exchange, insulation level change, etc).
  • Optional but advised: mid-construction blower door test conducted by energy advisor to find any air leaks and allow repair BEFORE seal-up stage.
  • Final inspection and air-tightness test conducted by the energy advisor.  The energy advisor submits a standardized “as-built” report to the AHJ following construction and prior to final inspection or occupancy, to verify air tightness and energy performance.
  • An occupancy permit can be issued if the minimum required energy efficiency is achieved, as verified by the energy advisor in the “as-built” report