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This Act is current to January 3, 2018
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Vancouver Charter

[SBC 1953] CHAPTER 55

Part IX — Buildings

Interpretation

304.  In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires,

"building" includes structures of every kind, excavations in respect of any structure, and everything so attached to a structure as to constitute it real property;

"construction" includes erection, repair, alteration, enlargement, addition, demolition, removal, and excavation.

"greenhouse gas" has the same meaning as in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act.

1953-55-304; 1963-60-8; 2008-8-7.

City Building Inspector

305.  There shall be a City Building Inspector appointed by the Council who shall have such duties and powers in addition to those provided by this Act as the Council may from time to time prescribe.

1953-55-305; 1958-72-19.

By-laws respecting building regulation

306.  (1) The Council may make by-laws

Regulating construction

(a) for regulating the construction of buildings

(i) where the safety of persons or property is concerned;

(ii) where the health of occupants or others is concerned;

(iii) where the protection of persons or property against fire is concerned;

(iv) where the provision of access to a building, or to part of a building, for a person with disabilities is concerned;

(v) where the conservation of energy or water is concerned;

(vi) where the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is concerned;

Scaffolding

(b) for regulating the construction and use of scaffolding in connection with any building;

Use of street during construction

(c) for regulating the temporary use or occupancy of any portion of a street for the more convenient construction of a building, upon such terms as to rental, length of use or occupancy, or otherwise as may be prescribed, and for the temporary closing of such portion of a street so used or occupied;

Classification of buildings

(d) for classifying buildings and parts thereof, and differentiating between classes as to the regulations applicable to the respective classes;

Permit to be obtained

(e) for prohibiting any person from commencing the construction of any building, or part thereof, until he has obtained a permit therefor from the City Building Inspector;

Conditions of permit

(f) for fixing the terms and conditions upon which the City Building Inspector may issue, cancel, or suspend building or other permits, including the fees to be charged therefor and the building, surveyor's, or other plans, specifications and particulars to be submitted with applications for building permits;

Certification of fitness

(g) for providing that no building or designated part thereof shall be occupied or used during construction or thereafter until the City Building Inspector has certified that the building has been completed in conformity with the by-laws of the city and is fit for occupancy or use;

Powers of inspection

(h) for providing for the inspection of all buildings during the course of construction and thereafter as occasion may require, and for empowering the City Building Inspector, and anyone authorized by him, to enter any premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of such inspection;

Standards for dwellings

(i) for fixing standards of fitness for human habitation to which all dwellings, whether single or multiple, shall conform, and for requiring the owners of dwellings to make the same conform to any such standards, and for prohibiting the use or occupancy of dwellings which do not conform with any standard so fixed, and for providing (after the giving of notice as hereinafter provided) that in default of such conformation to such standards the city may by its workmen or others enter and effect such repairs, renovations or alterations as are necessary to make the dwellings conform to such standards at the cost of the person so defaulting; no such work shall be undertaken by the city until the expiration of 60 days after the date of service of a notice to that effect has been given by registered mail to the owner or has been posted on the premises;

Removal of non-conforming structures

(j) for providing for the demolition or removal, in whole or in part, at the expense of the owner of the parcel on which it is constructed, of any building, or of any part thereof, in cases where its construction has failed in any respect to comply with the provisions of any by-law, and for providing that the cost of such demolition or removal may be recovered from the owner in any Court of competent jurisdiction or by entering the amount of such cost in the real-property tax roll with respect to such parcel;

(k) [Repealed 1964-72-9.]

Plumbing and heating facilities

(l)  

(i) for regulating the installation or alteration of plumbing and heating facilities in and about buildings and premises, including the materials to be used and the drains, pipes, and all means of connections with sewers, water-mains, and chimneys and the fixtures and apparatus in connection therewith;

(ii) for fixing standards for plumbing and heating facilities and for ordering the removal or repair of any such facilities that do not comply with that standard;

Sewer and water connections required

(m) for requiring that with respect to designated areas the owners of all premises therein which are used, or intended to be used, for human occupation shall at all times be effectively connected to a sewer or water-main, or both;

Tests for plumbers

(n) for constituting a board of examiners for persons desiring to engage in the trade of plumber, and for empowering such board to grant to any person found by the board to be a competent plumber a certificate of registration after such tests as may be required of him, and for making it unlawful for any person to engage in the trade of plumber unless he is the holder of such a certificate;

Gas or oil appliances

(o) subject to the Safety Standards Act, for regulating the installation and use of gas or oil ranges, gas or oil heaters, gas or oil furnaces, and other appliances using gas or oil for the production of heat, and the piping and other apparatus connected therewith;

Fire limits

(p) for establishing areas to be known as "fire limits", and for regulating the construction of buildings in each of such areas in respect of precautions against the danger of fire, and for discriminating and differentiating between the areas as to the character of buildings permitted in each of them, and for prohibiting the construction of any building within any such area unless it conforms with the regulations provided for it;

Unsafe buildings may be removed

(q) for providing for the demolition or removal, in whole or in part, or the amendment at the expense of the owner thereof, of any building certified by the City Building Inspector to be a fire hazard or structurally unsafe or a menace to health, and for that purpose to authorize any workers or others to enter upon the premises and carry out such demolition, removal or amendment, and for providing that the cost of the demolition, removal or amendment may be recovered from the owner in any court of competent jurisdiction or by entering the amount of such cost in the real property roll with respect to such parcel, and the provisions of this paragraph respecting cost recovery shall apply where the City Building Inspector orders the boarding up or securing of any unsafe building;

Off-street parking and loading space requirements

(r) with respect to loading and off-street parking for motor vehicles and bicycles to

(i) require owners or occupiers of any land or building to provide off-street parking and loading spaces for the land or building, or the use of the land or building, including spaces for use by disabled persons,

(ii) establish design standards for spaces required under subparagraph (i), including standards respecting the size, surfacing, lighting and numbering of the spaces,

(iii) permit off-street parking spaces required under subparagraph (i) to be provided, other than on the site of the building or use, under conditions that are specified in the by-law, and

(iv) as an alternative to complying with a requirement to provide off-street parking spaces under subparagraph (i), permit, at the option of the owner or occupier of the land or building, the payment to the city of an amount of money specified in the by-law;

(s) and (s.1) [Repealed 2008-23-33.]

Excavations to be guarded

(t) for compelling owners of, or building contractors in respect of, any real property on which there is any excavation likely to be dangerous to children or others to keep the same effectively fenced or enclosed or under the care of a watchman;

Undue cost of services may prevent certain uses

(u) for prohibiting the construction of any building for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes on land where by reason of its low-lying, marshy, or unstable character the cost of installing water, sewage, or drainage facilities is in the opinion of the Council unduly great;

Non-conforming building may be acquired

(v) for acquiring any real property being used for a purpose, or upon which is erected a structure, which does not conform with the provisions of any by-law relating thereto, and for disposing of the same upon such terms as may be just;

Adopting by reference

(w) for adopting by reference in whole or in part and with any change the Council considers appropriate any codes, standard or rule relating to fire safety or energy conservation or affecting the construction, alteration or demolition of buildings, either in place of or in addition to any regulations provided for in this Part;

Street numbers may be assigned

(x) for assigning and, where deemed necessary, reassigning street numbers to parcels of real property abutting on any street and to the buildings on such real property, and for providing that a record be kept by the city of such numbers so assigned or reassigned;

Sale of goods and chattels

(y) for providing for the disposal or storage of any goods or chattels situate in any building ordered by the City Building Inspector to be demolished and for the recovery of any costs or expenses incurred for such disposal or storage by sale of the goods or otherwise. The proceeds from the sale of such goods or chattels over and above any costs or expenses incurred shall be held in trust for the owner;

System established re Building By-law

(z)  

(i) for establishing a system to permit an architect or engineer recognized as qualified by the City Building Inspector and retained by a person seeking a building permit, to certify:

(A) that plans describing a building comply with the Building By-law; and

(B) that a building as built conforms to plans which were accepted by the city or certified as complying with the Building By-law by an architect or engineer;

(ii) such a system may establish the form of such certificates and the City Building Inspector may accept a certificate as satisfactory evidence of compliance and conformity;

(iii) the system established may also provide for any of the following:

(A) that in order to be recognized as qualified by the City Building Inspector, an architect or engineer must provide evidence satisfactory to the City Building Inspector that he is covered by public liability insurance, and must attend a course or courses approved by the City Building Inspector and, or in the alternative, attain a designated mark in an examination approved by the City Building Inspector;

(B) that an architect or engineer so recognized as qualified may be disqualified by the City Building Inspector;

(C) that a qualified architect or engineer shall, prior to issuing a certificate, obtain from qualified professional engineers all necessary assurances as to the building's electrical, mechanical and structural safety and fire protection;

(D) that a specified portion of the fees to be charged for a building permit in respect of which a qualified architect or engineer has issued the certificate of compliance may be refunded upon receipt of the certificate of compliance and record drawings of the completed building;

(E) that persons wishing to retain an architect or engineer to certify the compliance of plans and buildings shall enter into such undertakings and assurances as the City Building Inspector may prescribe; and

(F) that a permit may be revoked and no work on a building shall be permitted to continue where an architect or engineer retained to certify compliance and conformity has been discharged or resigns, except with the approval of the City Building Inspector;

(iv) where the City Building Inspector accepts the certificate of a qualified engineer or architect pursuant to a system established under this section neither the city nor the City Building Inspector nor any other city employee shall be liable for any loss, damage or expense caused or contributed to because a building in respect of which a certificate is issued is unsafe or does not comply with the Building By-law or other applicable by-laws;

Elevators

(aa) subject to the Safety Standards Act, for requiring that every elevator in any building used for residential purposes shall be maintained in an operational condition at all times;

Assessing costs to owner

(bb) for providing that, where

(i) there has been a successful prosecution pursuant to a by-law regarding building standards or fixing standards of fitness for human habitation, or

(ii) Council has suspended or revoked a license on the grounds that the owner or occupier of the premises is in violation of a by-law regarding building standards or fixing standards for human habitation,

Council may order that the owner be assessed all reasonable costs of all inspections and investigations, and all other city costs involved in the preparation of any such prosecution or proceeding, and any amount so determined by Council may be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction;

Withholding of permit

(cc) for withholding a building permit in respect of any parcel of land situate in a designated flood plain area until the City Building Inspector is satisfied that the elevation or design will reduce or eliminate the risk of flood damage and for requiring a covenant registered against the land acknowledging the risk of flood damage.

Where owner unavailable

(dd) for providing that,

(i) if an owner is unavailable, the authorized agent of the owner who is responsible for managing the building is required to comply with the building by-laws as if that agent were the owner, and

(ii) for the purposes of (i), an owner is unavailable if, after making reasonable efforts, the city is unsuccessful in contacting the owner regarding the matter.

(2) Money referred to in subsection (1) (r) (iv) is payable

(a) at the time the building permit is issued for the applicable building, or

(b) if no building permit is required, at the time the use that requires the parking space specified in the by-law begins.

(3) A by-law under subsection (1) (r) may make different provisions for one or more of the following:

(a) different classes of uses or of buildings as established by the by-law;

(b) subject to subsection (4), different activities and circumstances relevant to transportation needs that are related to

(i) a use,

(ii) a building, or

(iii) a class of use or of buildings

as established by the by-law;

(c) different areas;

(d) different zones;

(e) different uses within a zone.

(4) A provision under subsection (3) (b) must not increase the number of off-street parking spaces required under subsection (1) (r).

(5) A provision under subsection (3) that establishes requirements with respect to the amount of space for different classes does not apply with respect to

(a) land, or

(b) a building existing at the time the by-law came into force,

so long as the land or building continues to be put to a use that does not require more off-street parking or loading spaces than were required for the use existing at the time the by-law came into force.

(6) A by-law under subsection (1) (r) may exempt one or more of the following from any provisions of such a by-law:

(a) a class of use, or of buildings, as established by the by-law;

(b) an activity or circumstance relevant to transportation needs that is related to

(i) a use,

(ii) a building, or

(iii) a class of use or of buildings

as established by the by-law;

(c) a use or building existing at the time of the adoption of a by-law under this paragraph;

(d) residential, cultural or recreational uses of a building that is designated as a heritage site under the Heritage Conservation Act.

(7) If money is received by the city under subsection (2), the city must

(a) establish a reserve fund for the purpose of providing

(i) new and existing off-street parking spaces, or

(ii) transportation infrastructure that supports walking, bicycling, public transit or other alternative forms of transportation, and

(b) place the money to the credit of the reserve fund.

(8) If reserve funds are established for both the purpose of subsection (7) (a) (i) and the purpose of subsection (7) (a) (ii), the reserve funds must be separate.

(9) In each year the Director of Finance must prepare and submit to the Council a report for the previous year that includes the following:

(a) the amounts received under subsection (2) in the applicable year;

(b) the expenditures from the reserve funds in the applicable year;

(c) the balance in the reserve funds at the start and at the end of the applicable year;

(d) the projected timeline for future projects to be funded from the reserve funds.

(10) As soon as practicable after receiving the report under subsection (9), the Council must consider the report and make it available to the public.

1953-55-306; 1954-65-3; 1958-72-20; 1959-107-18; 1960-80-4; 1962-82-11; 1963-60-9; 1964-72-9,10; 1966-69-12; 1974-104-34; 1978-41-21,22; 1984-32-10; 1985-89-6; 1987-52-24; 1988-67-1,2; 1990-76-4; 1992-57-6; 1993-74-10; 1994-52-162; 2003-39-98; 2008-8-8; 2008-23-33; B.C. Reg. 18/2010.

Repealed

306A.  [Repealed 1959-107-21.]

Building Board of Appeal

306B.  Council may, by by-law, establish a Building Board of Appeal and may empower such Building Board of Appeal to determine such matters, relating to by-laws prescribing requirements for buildings, as to Council seem appropriate. Any decision of the Building Board of Appeal shall be final and no appeal shall lie therefrom.

1978-41-23.

Eviction of tenants may be effected

307.  Where a demolition or removal is undertaken pursuant to section 306 (1) (j) or (q) and any occupants of the building refuse to vacate the premises, they may be evicted upon such notice as the Council may prescribe. If, at the expiration of such notice, any occupant remains on the premises, the Mayor may direct a warrant to the Chief Constable requiring him to remove such occupant and his effects, and the Chief Constable shall, using such force as is necessary, cause them to be removed accordingly.

1953-55-307; 1962-82-13; 2008-23-34.

Taxes may be remitted

308.  Where in any year a building has been demolished or removed pursuant to section 306 (1) (j) or (q), the Council may remit so much as it sees fit of the taxes levied in that year in respect of such building.

1953-55-308; 2008-23-34.

Regulated by by-law

308A.  The council may by by-law regulate

(a) the removal of soil, sand, gravel, rock or other substance of which land is composed from any land in the city or in any area in the city, and different regulations and prohibitions may be made for different areas, and

(b) the deposit of soil, sand, gravel, rock or other material on land in the municipality or in any area in the municipality, and require the holding of a permit for the purpose and fix a fee for the permit, and different regulations and prohibitions may be made for different areas.

1987-52-25.

Contents | Preamble | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX | Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXV | Part XXVI | Part XXVII | Part XXVIII | Part XXIX | Part XXX