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Permits avoid pitfalls

We’re still trying to bust the myth that permits aren’t required “in the country’, (they are). And there are several good reasons to get a permit, not the least of which is that applying for one puts our team of experts on your side, helping you avoid pitfalls that may otherwise stall your project and cost you money, pitfalls like:

Wetlands woes

Around lakes, streams, bogs and other wetlands, it’s pretty common for developments to require a Watercourse and Wetlands Alteration permit, affectionately called a “WAWA” by many.

What’s the outcome of building without a WAWA? The Department of Environment and Local Government may refuse to issue a WAWA after construction has begun – and it’s our policy that we won’t issue permits until necessary Wetlands permits have been obtained. The short and skinny: if you start building near a waterway or wetland without a permit, you may end up being unable to build what you’ve already started – and that means demolishing what’s already been done.

Property-line pains

In many areas, including rural (unincorporated) areas, there are provincial rules and regulations limiting how close something can be constructed to a neighbour’s property line – or the highway. If you build without a permit, you may find that something like a garage has been built too close to a neighbour, or too close to a roadway. The best-case scenario in such a situation is that you’ll have to apply for a variance ($250 that we might have been able to save you by just guiding the building location a few feet one way or the other). The worst-case scenario is that the building can’t be granted a variance, and has to be torn down: which is very likely to happen if a building is constructed across a property line. Again, working things through with our planning department can help avoid these disasters.

Land-use problems

There are a few areas within the region we cover – St. David, Pennfield, Lepreau and Bayside – that have what are called “rural plans.” These are simple land-use guidelines for rural areas that, while perhaps not as detailed or restrictive as municipal zoning regulations do put some limits on what land can be used for. These rules are designed to protect your property, your quality of life, the environment, and your community's economic resources. Given the above, it is always better to give us a call before launching into something that might not be legally permitted.

Code-compliance conundrums

Sometimes, a well-meaning action can result in unintended consequences. Some examples include:

  • Carbon monoxide detectors installed by doors to a garage, but not near bedrooms, as required.
  • Fire-rated drywall installed in residential garages, when not required, at needless extra cost
  • Ramps built to provide access for those with disabilities that don’t meet Code, and have to be altered after the fact

The takeaway: Call us first. We’re here to help homeowners and builders alike. We serve the unincorporated areas from Hanwell in York County to Lepreau in Charlotte County (and everywhere in between) as well as St. George, Saint Andrews, McAdam and Harvey Station.