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Building and Planning


Municipality of Hastings Highlands – Building Permit Applications, Planning Applications and Site Inspections for the Building, Planning and Bylaw Enforcement Departments (Covid-19 period) – Revision 6 – January 13, 2021

The Municipality of Hastings Highlands is taking precautions regarding the developing situation with COVID-19 in an effort to protect staff, residents and businesses as it relates to building and bylaw inspections and new building and planning applications. The Municipal Office will be closed to the public until further notice.

As such, the Municipality’s Building, Planning and Bylaw Departments will be operating as follows:

1) Bylaw Enforcement Inspections

There will be limited site inspections for bylaw enforcement until further notice.

2) Building Department

The Building Department remains operational. For information on building permits and inspections, please refer to the details below:

New permit applications –

The Municipality continues to review and issue building and septic permit applications.

Please email the applications to: mcox@hastingshighlands.ca or alternatively, while the Municipal Office is closed to the public, building permit applications may be mailed in or dropped off at the Municipal Office by prior arrangement. Arrangements are to be made by emailing Martin Cox at mcox@hastingshighlands.ca. You will be provided with a time for drop off and a member of staff will meet you. Alternatively, use the mail box located on the Hastings Highlands Library wall, adjacent to the main entrance of the Hastings Highlands Complex.

Site Inspections: New Construction

The Building Department will be inspecting in person unoccupied construction sites only.

The Building Department staff will not be entering occupied area of buildings under construction including personal dwellings or occupied areas of industrial, commercial, multi – residential and institutional buildings. Details on inspections for previously occupied areas are listed in “Site Inspections: Occupied Buildings” below.
Inspection staff may ask you to answer brief, non-intrusive screening questions related to the COVID-19 health risks, and practice social distancing. Please understand this is for the protection and peace of mind of our staff who will be serving you and other members of the public.

Building inspections are to be booked by emailing Martin Cox mcox@hastingshighlands.ca or by calling 613 338 2811 extension 255.

Site Inspections: Occupied Buildings

The Building Department staff will not be entering occupied areas of buildings under construction including personal dwellings or occupied areas of industrial, commercial, multi – residential and institutional buildings.

The Building Department will review emailed quality photos and videos or inspect via video calls on programs such as Facetime, What’s App and Zoom. The Building Department will email the owner or builder an inspection report stating whether the inspection is satisfactory or list deficiencies. Any deficiencies can be reviewed at a later date by the same methods.
Building inspections are to be booked by emailing Martin Cox mcox@hastingshighlands.ca or by calling 613 338 2811 extension 255.


3) Planning Department

The Planning Department remains operational.
The Committee of Adjustment have resumed by teleconference.
New planning applications
The Municipality will review electronically submitted planning applications, including minor variances and 911 addresses.
Please email the applications to: cbujas@hastingshighlands.ca
While the Municipal Office is closed to the public, planning applications may be mailed in or dropped off at the Municipal Office by prior arrangement. Arrangements are to be made by emailing Cathy Bujas at cbujas@hastingshighlands.ca. You will be provided with a time for drop off and a member of staff will meet you. Alternatively, use the mail box located on the Hastings Highlands Library wall, adjacent to the main entrance of the Hastings Highlands Complex.

If you have any questions or concerns you may contact me by phone or email at the listed contacts below.
The Municipality thanks you for your cooperation during this time.

Martin Cox
Chief Building Official
Municipality of Hastings Highlands
Phone: (613) 338-2811 x.255
Toll Free: 1 (877) 338-2818 x.255
Email: mcox@hastingshighlands.ca
Website: www.hastingshighlands.ca

We strive to enhance the quality of community life with particular emphasis on environmental, health, accessibility and life safety issues related to building construction.

Thinking of building? What should I do?

Under the Ontario Building Code Act, a building permit is required to construct, demolish, renovate, alter, install or change the use of a building. The following is a list of typical projects or situations that require the issuance of a building permit prior to construction:

  • New buildings or structures greater than 10 square metres (108 ft²) in total floor area, measured by the outside dimensions, or any size if they include services. This includes sheds, sleeping cabins or other accessory buildings or structures, including sheds and shed packages purchased from a store.
  • Additions to existing buildings or structures.
  • Renovations that involve structural framing.
  • New or replacement decks.
  • Wood burning appliances, including new or replacement of existing components.
  • Replacement of windows or doors if the rough opening size is enlarged.
  • Relocation or addition of plumbing fixtures.
  • Replacement of interior water supply or drain pipes.
  • Docks.  If the dock area is 15 square metres (161 ft²) or more, approval is also required from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
  • Docks greater than 10 square metres including covered docks.
  • Wind turbines that generate more than 3 kW of electricity.
  • Solar panels on new or existing structures that did or would require a permit.
  • Permanent structure greenhouses. Portable green houses & garages with a total area greater than 60 square meters.
  • Quonset huts and pre-engineered metal buildings.
  • Repair or replacement of all types of building foundations.
  • Note that load bearing cement slabs for all houses, or for garages greater than 576 sq ft require engineered design.
  • an outdoor pool

It isn’t necessary to obtain building permits to perform the following work. However, you must still comply with the requirements of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands Zoning Bylaw and, if applicable, the Ontario Building Code.

  • Accessory buildings with a total floor area of 10 square metres (108 ft²) or less.  Note: Zoning Bylaw requirements must be followed.
  • Fences** but still must be 30 m from water body
  • Replacement of plumbing fixtures (toilet, sink, bathtub, shower, hot water tank) in their original locations.
  • Replacement of windows or doors provided the rough opening size does not change.
  • Replacement of shingles or other roofing material unless you strip to the sheathing.  If you’re replacing or adding new roof trusses or rafters, a building permit is required.
  • Installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels on a pole.  However, an electrical permit may be required – check with an electrician or the Electrical Safety Authority.
  • Docks less than 10 square metres.
  • Wind turbines that generate 3 kW or less of electricity.
  • Tarped vehicle, boat shelters that are less than total of 60 meters square for all tents on the property.

If the above lists do not include specifics related to your project, or if you’re not sure whether a permit will be required, please contact the Building Department

Step 1: Planning

Building a new home, addition or accessory building can be both an exciting and daunting process, and it is always a good idea to involve Hastings Highlands’ Planning and Building Departments at the early conceptual stages.

As part of the initial process, we recommend you provide the Municipality with a sketch of your property lot and show the following:

  • the dimensions of the proposed structure
  • setbacks (distances) in relation to any other structures or a septic system that may already be existing on the property,
  • setbacks from your lot lines and a lake/river, if there is one adjacent to your property.
  • Docks.  If the dock area is 15 square metres (161 ft²) or more, approval is also required from the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Once the above conceptual sketch is complete, please email it to our Building and Planning Clerk, Cathy Bujas and we will review it for compliance with the Municipality’s Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw and other Applicable Law and we aim to be able to advise you within ten business (10) days of your next steps.

Cathy Bujas
Building & Planning Clerk
Tel: 613 338 2811 (extension 222)
Email: cbujas@hastingshighlands.ca

Step 2: Building

Having worked through the initial planning stages mentioned above, you should now been able to establish what structure(s) you can build on your property and the location(s) in relation to your lot lines.  Now you are ready to move from conceptual stage/plans to construction plans.

Homeowners may design their own home and accessory buildings, however, if you have no experience in construction or working with the Ontario Building Code, we would recommend you consult/commission a design professional.

Please review the Municipality’s Building Permit Guide and Application package below this section.  The package includes a checklist and guidance on how to complete the permit application package. For a building permit application to commence, the Municipality requires a complete package to be submitted, including a site plan, construction drawings, forms from the package completed/signed and building fees paid.

Once the Municipality has received all of the above, the residential permit review process takes ten business days, after which the applicant will receive either a building permit, or a plans examination letter explaining what additional information is required in order for a permit to be issued.

We look forward to working with you.

Martin Cox
Chief Building Official
Tel: 613 338 2811 (extension 255)
Email: mcox@hastingshighlands.ca

How do I get a building permit?

Submit a completed application form, along with the appropriate fees plus the building plans and all other required information as specified in the information sheet, Requirement to be followed when Building.

The Ontario Building Code requires that a complete building permit application for small projects and houses will be processed within 10 days. You will be advised at the time of application or within 2 days, if the application is incomplete.

More information on permits is available at:

http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page1753.aspx”>http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page1753.aspx</a>

  • Electrical permits and inspections fall under the jurisdiction of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). It’s the responsibility of the homeowner or builder to contact the ESA for proper approvals.
  • Septic system permits and approvals are treated as Building Permits under the jurisdiction of the Municipality. Fees are $600 for a new septic, $300 for a repair.
  • An entrance permit is required to install a new entrance on your property, to change the location of an existing one, or to install a second entrance. Entrance approvals are handled by the Roads & Public Works Department.
  • New civic addresses (9-1-1 numbers) for vacant lots are acquired through the Roads Department. Contact Cathy Bujas, Planning Clerk at ext. 222
  • New Online Payment Options are available for building and planning fees and permits. Please contact the municipal office for more information on how to get setup for online payments. 613-228-2811 or info@hastingshighlands.ca

Technical Resources

Septic System Resources

Planning Bylaws

Annual Reports

2020 Annual Report on Building Permit Fees
2019 Annual Report on Building Permit Fees
2018 Annual Report on Building Permit Fees