Your caption goes here!
    • ALERT: Building Permit Delays!

      November 20, 2022

      Anyone building or considering building a new home (or renovating an existing one) here in the Shuswap needs to be aware of the substantial and increasingly longer delays involved in obtaining building permit approvals from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD).

      Since 2021, it’s been taking longer and longer for the CSRD to issue building permits. In fact, even with straightforward projects, it can now take up to several months for the process to be completed. For more complex projects, the process can take even longer, as new reporting requirements have come into effect.

      There appear to be several reasons for the delays. For one, interest in building or renovating homes in our area has increased dramatically – in 2021, the CSRD expected almost 1,400 requests for its development services, which represents more than double the requests of the previous year. No figures are available for 2022 at this point, but we’ve heard anecdotally that growth in service and permit requests has been similar to last year. This is all taking place at a time when the CSRD has been experiencing severe staff shortages; currently, it has only one qualified building inspector who can make the final approval of a permit application and issue documentation.

      Here’s a link to a news story from 2021 that describes the problem. While we don’t yet know the full situation in 2022, our experiences indicate that the problems are getting worse.

      The problem of soaring demand and staff shortages is being compounded by the increasing complexity of the development permit process. Development permits are required for construction in Development Permit Areas, or DPAs, prior to application of the actual building permit. DPAs are designated for a variety of purposes, including protection of development from hazardous conditions, protection of the environment, protection of farmland, and to guide form and character of development. DPAs designate specific areas in which a property owner must first obtain a development permit before constructing, adding to, or altering a building. For example, as of March 2022, development permits may require a steep slope or flooding report, which need to be completed by a qualified engineer. And if the planned location of the home is within 100 meters of the lake, a hydrogeology report is also required. These reports are costly and further bog down the process. 

      Here at Copper Island Fine Homes, we understand the complexities of the development and building permit processes. While we can’t completely resolve the bottlenecks, our considerable experience in navigating this often overlooked aspect of home construction, our familiarity with the CSRD and key personnel, and our professional relationships with the area’s most qualified engineers can all make a difference and help our clients avoid costly delays.

      We urge potential clients to consider the complexities and delays of the building permitting process when selecting your builder. And we urge you to contact us with your questions about navigating the permit process as early as possible as you move forward with building your Shuswap dream.