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REPORTING · 26th February 2016
Walter McFarlane
The District of Kitimat is updating their building regulations. The head of the District of Kitimat Engineering Department, Tim Gleig delivered a report to Council on February 22nd. He explained there were a number of changes which needed to be incorporated into this bylaw.

The purpose of these changes, as explained in a report to Council from Gleig, comes from a 2002 project from the Municipal Insurance Association of BC, to standardize bylaws in BC.

“One of the objectives was to limit liability exposure from performing the building inspection services. At the time, the District of Kitimat prepared a table comparing it’s building bylaw with the MIABC recommendations, but made no changes. Since that time, the great majority of MIABC members have adopted changes to their building bylaws as recommended to varying degrees to reduce the liability risks imposed by the new building act,” wrote Gleig.

Council had many questions and went through the report page by page.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff expressed he has been waiting 15 years for this report and he is really pleased with the report. One of the things he was happy with was a change which would have the District of Kitimat rely on professional third parties for issuing building permits for complex buildings.

In addition, there are planned changes to the construction of a retaining wall, fee structure, damage deposits and temporary building permits.

However, Councillor Larry Walker had a concern. “I found that there are certain areas where, even though things, even in a bylaw are not being followed up on or not enforced,” said Walker.

He expressed driveway widths were one such concern. He was concerned about people extending their fences into the town’s greenspace which takes away the use of the parkland. There were out buildings which were too big, or yards where there are several outbuildings.

“The enforcement factor has got to be stepped up. I know we can’t do it on anything that’s happened in the past, I know it’s really hard to take away something from people who have already taken ownership of it, but we have got to stop at some point and say, these are the rules, and everybody, including me, will follow them,” said Walker.

Gleig expressed there were a number of outbuildings they have had to address in the past year because they have gone up without permits. He explained it was due to the proximity to side yards. However, this was a very long process.

Feldhoff said the APC have made a number of improvements and clarifications to the sighting of outbuildings and where people can park. Enforcement is a large part of it.

The report was received for information. The bylaw will be returning to Council in the future. Walker wanted to make sure the document got out to the public. The full report can be viewed on the District of Kitimat website in the Council information package by clicking this paragraph.