Frequently Asked Questions
What types of Permits are issued by Building Approvals?
When do I need to apply for a Building Permit?
How do I apply for a Building Permit?
To apply for a Building Permit, you must submit a completed permit application along with all required supporting documents and a plan processing fee. A complete application can be submitted at the Permits Counter in City Hall.
Please review the Building Permit Application Guide to determine the required documents and drawings to complete your application submission.
Do I need to consider zoning before I apply for a Building Permit?
All properties in the City have a legal zoning classification that specifies the use or activities that can take place on that property, the types of buildings allowed, along with other regulations for building size, height, building and structure siting, off-street parking requirements, landscaping as well as other requirements. Prior to making a building permit application or to change the use of a property, it is important to confirm the heights, setbacks, permitted uses and other considerations as part of the Zoning Bylaw.
Zoning regulations is one of the due diligence checked by the designer and/or professionals. The proposed building is required to comply with various regulations as well in addition to the Zoning Bylaw.
For more information, contact the Zoning Inquiry Line at 604-276-4017 or email email@example.com.
What is the zoning for my property?
Use the Richmond Interactive Map (RIM) to look up the zoning and other information for any property in Richmond. You can search by address or other property identifiers. The property will be highlighted in the map and property details will display, as well as a link to the appropriate section of the City Zoning Bylaw.
What are the fees for a Building Permit?
Refer to the Consolidated Fees Bylaw No. 8636 to determine the fees associated with your permit application.
Note: The Plan Processing fee will be credited to the fees for the Building Permit at the time of permit issuance. The Plan Processing fee is non-refundable and is forfeited if the permit application is cancelled or if a permit is not picked up within 30 days of being notified that the permit is ready to be issued.
How can I pay for my Building Permit?
All balances owing for a building permit must be paid at the time of Building Permit issuance. Building Permits are issued at the Permits Counter in City Hall.
Fees can be paid in cash, debit or cheque made payable to the City of Richmond.
Do I need a registered professional to submit my application?
The Building Approvals department does not provide building design or code solutions services and primarily reviews plans that have been designed by external professionals. The expertise of registered professionals may reduce the number of revisions required, saves time and additional revision costs for the building owner as well as ensures the safety of the structure.
Under some situations, Richmond does require the involvement of registered professionals as outlined in Part Five - Permits of the Building Regulation Bylaw.
Do I need a Permit for a deck or garden shed?
A Building Permit is required for all deck structures. Deck structure that are 2 ft² or greater in height must meet property setback requirements.
How can I view the status of my application?
View status of application
I have a general inquiry about Permits, who should I talk to?
Contact the Building Approvals Department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the time limit to pick up a permit after being notified it is
ready for issuance?
The Plan Processing fee is forfeited to the City if the Building Permit has not been paid for within 30 days of notification that the Building Permit is ready for issuance. Refer to Part Five - Permits of the Building Regulation Bylaw.
When does a permit expire?
Refer to Part Five - Permits of the Building Regulation Bylaw for further information.
Refer to Bulletin Building-31: Permit Expiry and Extension for further information.
Note: Once a Building Permit has expired it cannot be restored. In order to proceed with construction, a new building permit application, along with all corresponding fees and supporting documents must be submitted.
What are Development Cost Charges (DCCs)?
Please refer to the Development Cost Charges Imposition Bylaw No. 9499 for current rates and to determine if they apply to your project. For more information, contact the Development Applications Department at 604-276-4017.
How do I schedule, reschedule or cancel an inspection?
Inspectors are available between 8:15 - 9:00 a.m. or between 4:15 - 5:00 p.m. at the Permit Centre counter at City Hall or by phone. Refer to your permit for the Inspectors name and phone number.
The cut-off time to cancel an inspection is 7:00 a.m.
Inspections for Building, Gas, Plumbing, or Site Service can be requested online or by automated telephone system.
Online Inspections Scheduling & Permits Inquiries
This system will allow you to schedule, cancel and view inspection results on an issued permit. You will need your permit number and access code located at the top right of your permit document.
Schedule, Cancel and View Inspection Results
Automated Telephone System (604-276-4111)
User Guide: Inspections Request IVR Phone System.
*The Inspection Request System User Guide lists the required Inspection Codes and provides information on how to use the IVR system.
What inspections are required?
A complete list of required inspections is provided to applicants at the time of building permit issuance. To view information on inspections, please refer to the brochure on Inspections Required.
When do I get my site services installed?
Once your building permit application is submitted, if your property is not pre-serviced appropriately, you will be required to pay a fee to initiate the installation of service connections to your property line. If existing services are insufficient for the proposed construction, staff will determine any additional upgrades and costs prior to the commencement of work.
What permit do I need to make alterations inside an existing
If you are renovating an existing commercial building, you must submit a Tenant Improvement (TI) Building Permit Application.
Please submit a complete application with the required fees at the Permit Counter in City Hall.
Do I need a sprinkler permit?
City follows the minimum standards and guidelines set in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 13) for the installation and spacing of sprinkler heads.
A sprinkler permit application must be submitted with a Tenant Improvement (TI) Building Permit Application.