Planning on building this year? Have a home improvement project in the works?
All residents and contractors performing the work need to be aware of the obligations and regulations that need to be met when planning that home improvement project. In our community, we are a member municipality of the Selkirk and District Planning Board.
Selkirk Planning is the organization that is tasked with accepting, approving and inspecting all applications related to the many home improvement projects that are undertaken annually by residents and businesses within our community. This can cover projects including, but not limited to, an addition on your home, a new garage, a pool, the demolition of existing buildings and even new home construction. This is only a small list of some of the projects that will require proper permitting.
It is very important to ensure that you properly plan and speak with your elected official or municipal staff that can provide you with direction or direct referral to the Selkirk Planning staff.
Our recommendation is that you always call to discuss the project and the staff will advise if permitting is required. These are critical to ensure your project meets the local zoning bylaws and is built with the correct setbacks, within the proper bylaw and zoning regulations and to the Manitoba Building codes.
As Mayor of West St. Paul I, along with members of our council, have seen circumstances where homeowners have had to needlessly incur extra costs as a result of improper planning or permitting when they have moved forward on their projects without the appropriate approvals in place. For example, regulations cover setbacks from the street and also include side yard setbacks from adjacent property lines, fence heights, and proper elevations that are set by the municipality. These are only a few of the many regulations that are in place to protect your investment within our community.
These regulations are in place to ensure proper, approved construction practices are adhered to and will protect not only yourself, but also your neighbours’ property and the community at large by ensuring we have safe and conforming construction occurring within of our community.
Plumbing and electrical are also very important items which require permits and inspections.
These are life safety items and cannot be overlooked, as an improper installation could create a very hazardous and dangerous situation in your home that you may not be aware of, exposing your family and neighbours to a potential situation.
Items like these may not surface initially. There may be an unexpected power outage, and when Manitoba Hydro attends, they may make you aware of a situation that is non-compliant and requires immediate attention to correct prior to power being restored to your home.
Another example we have seen in the past is a property sale next door, when the new property owner gets a survey done and advises you that the garage you built is on his property and now it will be up to you to take the appropriate steps to comply.
This could come in the form of a variance order that would have to applied for, and for example if it were not approved, you could potentially be looking at a situation where the structure may have to be relocated or even removed.
Please call or visit our office, or alternatively, call Selkirk and District Planning toll free at 1-800-876-5831 or visit their website, selkirkplanning.com where project information is available for your review and assistance when planning your home improvement or business project.