Services & Departments
Frequently Asked Questions
BUILDING DEPARTMENT FAQs
Q1. Who is the Chief Building Official for Hastings Highlands?
A1. Martin Cox has been our CBO since January 2018. Click the Contact Us line at the bottom right of the Home page for contact details.
Q2. What is required to obtain a building permit?
A2. Download the following documents - Entrance Permit, Fees, Permit, Requirements, SitePlan, Site Plan 2, Zoning Bylaw
Q3. What are the minimum and maximum sizes for buildings & the setbacks?
A3. All this information is in the Zoning Bylaw, but generally a house must be a minimum of 800 sq. ft. Any building over 10 sq metres total floor area, or containing any services, requires a permit and accessory buildings can only be built after the main permit is obtained. Setbacks are 100 ft from water. 10 ft from side. Moving a building requires a building permit.
Q4. Can I put a trailer on a lot or build onto an existing trailer?
A4. Generally no. Travel trailers are only allowed in trailer parks. CSA Z240/241 approved mobiles of the minimum sq ft and on permanent foundations may be considered. You can only add on to a trailer that was legally installed and permits issued.
Q5. Can I use alternative building construction such as straw bales, ungraded lumber, or stackwall?
A5. Such structures must be designed by a qualified Engineer and specifically approved by the Chief Building Official.
Q6. Can I build a garage or accessory building prior to building the main building?
A6. The Zoning Bylaw requires the main building to be built first. You can take out all the permits at one time, or try a Minor Variance.
Q7. Do I need a permit to install a wood heating appliance?
A7. Yes, and all wood stoves and chimneys must be certified in order to qualify for a permit.
Q8. What if my building proposal does not meet the requirements of the Building Code, applicable legislation or the Zoning Bylaw, for size, height, setbacks, use etc?
A8. Your permit for small projects and houses will be issued within 10 days of receipt of application if complete. If incomplete you will be advised at time of application or within 2 days. If denied due to not meeting zoning or setbacks, you may apply to rezone or apply for a Minor Variance. The forms and instructions are available in the Documents section of the website.
Q9. What can I do if I am denied a building permit or dispute an order?
A9. A house permit should be issued within 10 days of receiving a complete application. If it is incomplete, you must be notified within 2 days. An applicant may appeal to the Superior Court of Justice within 20 days of notice of the dispute [Building Code Act 25.(1)].
Q10. When is a septic permit required?
A10. If pressurized water is pumped into a building, a septic system is generally required to service the building.
Q11. I'm interested in purchasing a property, how do I find out if I can get a building permit for a new house or addition?
A11. The Municipality does not answer hypothetical questions to non-property owners. The owner of the property for sale, or the real estate agent should supply you with answers to your questions.