Draft New Building and Plumbing Bylaw


The City of Fernie’s current Building Bylaw No. 1946 was adopted in 2003 and amended once in 2006. Our current bylaw is out of date and missing key requirements and details to properly manage building and plumbing in Fernie. We have developed a draft new building and plumbing bylaw based on a template bylaw put together by the Municipal Insurance Association of BC with the assistance of Lidstone and Company LLC and are looking for your input on the draft bylaw. 

The draft bylaw is substantially different from the old one in terms of both content and organization and as such a redline of the changes would be illegible. It is a large bylaw and we are looking for suggestions the broad community and in particular from our building industry on how it could be improved. Please have a look at the bylaw and provide us with feedback and suggested improvements before we bring it to Council for consideration.

Key Changes

An overview of the key changes was provided to the Committee of the Whole at their November 18th, 2019 meeting. A copy of that report is available in the agenda package for that meeting (item 6.3). Changes include:

  • Exemptions: Clarifying what does not require a permit
  • Damage to Municipal Works Application Requirements: Ensuring that damaged municipal works are documented pre-construction and that any subsequent damage is repaired by the builder rather than all taxpayers. 
  • Requirements for Demolition: Ensuring hazardous materials are properly dealt with prior to demolition and utilities are appropriately terminated. 
  • Application Requirements: Ensuring all applications for building and plumbing permits include all necessary information to evaluate the permit.
  • Step Code Adoption: We are proposing Step 2 for Part 9 Buildings and Step 1 for Part 3 buildings. Step Code will become mandatory Province wide in 2022 and we would like a smooth transition and to ensure that by that time everyone is familiar with the process. 
  • Electric Vehicle Ready Homes: The Province has mandated that by 2040 all light duty vehicles sold in BC will be electric. There are two other milestones on the way to that target (10% in 2025 and 30% in 2030). Homes built today will still be early in their lives when all new vehicles are electric and it is more cost effective to pre-wire at construction. To this end we are proposing that all new homes have a minimum 1 parking stall wired for type 2 EV charging.
  • Forms: Forms are proposed to be removed from the Bylaw and changing them would be delegated to City Administration. This will allow for modifying forms without needing to amend the bylaw. 
  • Fees: Fees are proposed to be removed from the bylaw and included in a master fee bylaw. At this time we are not proposing fee changes though that issue may arise when we prepare the master fee bylaw. 

How can you help improve the draft? 

Due to the size and complex nature of this bylaw, we are asking citizens to follow a consistent format for providing feedback that will allow us to appropriately understand and compile comments for review. To this end, if you have comments and suggested improvements, we ask that you follow the process outlined below.

  1. Download a copy of the MS Word draft bylaw [DOCX - 91 KB].  
  2. Name the downloaded file using this format: your name or business name draft building bylaw comments date.docx
  1. Edit the document and add suggestions to it ensuring that the track changes function is turned on in your word processor. Do not forget to save your changes.
  2. Email a copy of your edited document to fernieplanning@fernie.ca by February 28th, 2020.
  3. Please indicate in your email if you would like to receive an invite to any workshop(s) that are held for this bylaw.

Subsequent to the comment period we intend to hold at least one workshop to go  over and changes or common issues arising from the comments we receive. 

Workshop Details

Location and Date TBD.



If you have any questions about the bylaw or commenting process please email us at fernieplanning@fernie.ca