Summerland building regulations expanded

Summerland’s building regulations have been expanded to clarify the rules and impose stricter penalties for violators.

Summerland’s building regulations have been expanded to clarify the rules and impose stricter penalties for violators.

The bylaw, which received first three readings at the municipal council meeting on Aug. 26, was two years in the making.

The changes clarify the responsibilities of the owner of the building and the municipality.

The owner is responsible for all aspects of the construction process.

Property owners will be required to sign an owner’s understanding document, to state they are aware of the regulations.

“What we are attempting to do is present a clear picture of what is required,” said municipal planner Ian McIntosh.

Other changes include higher penalties for violations.

The fees are doubled if construction takes place without a building permit and tripled if work proceeds prior to an inspection.

Those who continue construction after a stop work order has been issued will pay five times the value.

“It’s very rare that people would continue with a stop work order in place,” McIntosh said, although there have been several instances of such violations.

Other changes include the creation of a certificate of occupancy and clearer definitions of standard and complex buildings.

Summerland’s existing building bylaw dates to 1992 and the last amendment was in 2000.