Building Permits

The Building and Planning Department is available to provide assistance prior to building or making changes to a home or property. This section of the website contains information on obtaining building permits and inspections. Building and Zoning Bylaws can be found here.

  • Permits
  • How to Obtain a Permit
  • Arrange an Inspection
  • Uplands Building Permits
  • Access Information on Developments or Properties


Building permits are required for all new construction, temporary buildings and for alterations to existing construction.  Please review building requirements with Municipal staff before commencing a project. The cost of building permits depends on the nature and scope of the work being done.

Some examples of when a building permit is required:

  • Construction of a new building
  • Additions to existing buildings
  • Kitchen Renovation
  • Upgrading an existing building or changing its use
  • Creating new rooms or spaces within existing building
  • Finishing a basement
  • Demolishing a building or part of a building
  • Building a deck or gazebo
  • Installation of a hot tub
  • Construction of a swimming pool
  • Adding an accessory building, equipment room, shed, or detached garage more then 10m2
  • Building a retaining wall over 1.2 meters in height, or multiple walls
  • Constructing roads within a strata development
  • Restoration, maintenance or repair of building's structural components and systems
  • Restoration, maintenance or repair of significant fire and life-safety components and systems of the building.
  • Replacement of windows

Building permits are not required for:

  • Repairs less than $500 in value
  • Retaining walls under 1.2 m in height
  • Accessory building less than 10 m2 (Does not apply to the Uplands)

Note: Work that does not require a permit, must comply with Municipal Bylaws and the BC Building Code.

How to Obtain a Permit

The following are some of the basic procedural requirements:

  1. The permit must be obtained before commencing work on the project.
  2. To apply for a permit, information about the project in the form of construction plans and supporting documentation must be submitted to the municipality.   This  information is necessary to demonstrate that the proposed work will comply with all applicable Codes, Regulations, Bylaws and property encumbrances (e.g., rights-of-way, covenants, etc.).
  3. Permit forms can be obtained through the Building and Planning Department or Building Permit Application, Plumbing Permit Application Form and also include Form 1.
  4. Pay application fee. Building Permit fees are based on the value of construction.
  5. Depending on the nature of the permit in question, various other charges and securities (Development Cost Charges, Damage Deposits, etc.) may be collected at the time the permit fee balance is due.
  6. Periodically during the progress of permitted work,  and after  completion of work, an inspection must be carried out.

BC Energy Step Code

Effective November 1, 2018, the District of Oak Bay has implemented the BC Energy Step Code.  This is a provincial standard that provides a consistent, tiered approach to achieving more energy efficient buildings.  The Step Code does not specify how you must construct a building, but it does identify how the steps must be met.  This is done with the help of an energy advisor.  Energy modelling and on site testing will demonstrate how the design and construction of the building will meet the Step Code requirements.

In Oak Bay, building permit applications for new construction, including Part 9 residential (eg. single family homes, duplexes) and Part 3 residential / commercial (eg. larger multifamily projects, commercial and office buildings) will have to demonstrate compliance and be constructed to meet Step 1 of of Step Code.

Want more information?  Check the following links for additional details.

BC Energy Compliance Report - Pre Construction

BC Energy Compliance Report - As Built

BC Energy Step Code Builder Guide

Province of BC

BC Energy Step Code for Industry


Arrange an Inspection

To arrange a building or plumbing inspection, contact the Building Clerk at 250-598-2042 anytime. If calling after office hours, please be sure to leave a voice message with the following information:

1. the civic address of the building site
2. the date for which the inspection is requested
3. the type of inspection requested (e.g., foundation, framing, insulation, plumbing, final, etc.)
4. the name and phone number of caller

Uplands Building Permits

Under the Uplands Regulations Bylaw, applications for building permits involving exterior work in the Uplands must be approved by the District of Oak Bay prior to the issuance of the permit. Special attention will be made to site and architectural design. View the Oak Bay Uplands Design Guidelines


Access Information on Developments or Properties

Use the Authorized Agent's Letter Form to authorize an agent to access information on the following:

  • Building, Plumbing or Development Permits
  • For Engineering Permits (Driveways, Service Connections)
  • Viewing Property Plans
  • Obtaining copies of Property Plans- Access Request form must accompany the Authorizied Agent's Letter

            1.  Minimum turnaround for copies and information is 48 hours.

            2.  Payment for plans must be received prior to plans being copied.