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Monday, February 19, 2018

Why are Development/Building Permits Required?

The Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act or UBAS Act identifies The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport (PCS) as the “Local Authority” for Provincial Parks.  With this Act, PCS has the authority to prohibit the commencement of any construction, erection, placement, renovation, addition, etc. of any building unless that person is authorized by way of a building permit.

Because buildings are being constructed on Crown Land, PCS has a “duty of care” to ensure code compliant structures are being delivered.  Building owners have a substantial investment that can be seriously jeopardized through building code violations.  Plan review and approval of building plans are a part of the building permit process.  Follow up inspections made during construction verify that building code regulations have been followed.  PCS wants a safe environment for cottage owners, neighbours, visitors and the many park patrons.

Do I need a Development/Building Permit?

Development/Building Permit - Required when:

  • Development or construction (new, alterations, additions, structural repair, replacement, removal or demolition) of buildings or structures greater than 9.2 m2 (100 ft2); and
  • Sidewalks; driveways; or decks higher than 600 mm (2 ft) from ground to the walking surface.

No Fee Development/Building Permit – Required when:

  • Required for buildings or structures less than 9.2 m2 (100 ft2); sidewalks; driveways; or decks lower than 600 mm (2 ft) from the ground to the walking surface;
  • Not applicable for development/construction larger than 9.2 m2 (100 ft2); and
  • Page one of the current building permit application will be issued and approved at the park without a fee associated.

How Do I Apply for a Development/Building Permit?

If a lessee is planning on completing any project that requires a building permit, then the lessee should take the following steps:

  • Obtain a copy of the Cottage Subdivisions Development Directive from the park office.
  • Obtain a Development/Building Permit Application Form.
  • Follow the instructions on the permit application and prepare DETAILED CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS.  One complete set must be submitted with the permit application form.

Depending on the project, a number of drawings will need to be submitted.  The drawings MUST BE DRAWN TO SCALE and must include the following:

  • Plot Plan - indicating location of utilities, septic tank(s), accessory buildings, lot and building dimensions, distance to all property lines and required set backs.
  • Foundation Plan - showing footing and foundation details including material specifications, dimensions reinforcing requirements, depth of excavation and general soil type (refer to Section 9.12 and 9.15 of the latest edition and revisions of the National Building Code of Canada)
  • Floor Plan (for every level above basement) - indicating room dimensions, window and door opening sizes, corridors, etc. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing system including wood burning appliances.
  • Building Section - drawn through exterior walls from top of roof to underside of footings showing construction and specifications of floor, wall, roof and stair assemblies.
  • Exterior Elevations - indicating finished grade level, drainage patterns, exterior elevations, roof penetrations, chimneys, roof vents, etc.

Other Documents Required:

Upon the discretion and request of the Building Official Services (BOS) contractor any building or building systems within the scope of Part 3 or Part 4 of the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) shall bear the authorized professional seal and signature of an engineer or architect registered in the province of Saskatchewan.  Examples of these buildings and their systems are, but not limited to:

  • Concrete grade beam and pile foundations
  • All Pre-engineered structural products (roof trusses, floor trusses, etc.)
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for buildings within the scope of Part 3 of the NBC.
  • Walk out style basements

Preserved wood foundations shall be designed by a professional engineer in conformance with Part 4 of the NBC.  However, if the foundation is designed in accordance with CAN/CSA-S406-M92, the foundation does not require an engineer’s approval provided:

  • the foundation is supported by soil with an allowable bearing pressure of not less than 75 kPa, and
  • the foundation configuration conforms to the design

Real Property Report

If requested by a park official, as per section 45 (7) of the Parks Regulations a Real Property Report prepared by a registered Saskatchewan Land Surveyor is required when construction is nearly complete.  The report must be submitted prior to final inspection.  The RPR must include all new improvements including decks, landings or steps.  As well it must show any pre-existing structures like garages or storage buildings.  Further it is strongly recommended to acquire a Lot Survey prior to construction to determine and confirm exact lot pin locations.

Who issues the Development/Building Permits?

For all projects, the local Park Official forwards the building permit application complete with all applicable drawings to the Park Services Official in Regina for review, upon proposal successfully meeting the guidelines set out in the Cottaging Development Directive the proposal will be sent to the appropriate BOS.  The BOS will review the plans for code compliance.  Upon approval, the BOS will forward a plan review report and the signed building permit application to the applicant.  The application signed by all three (3) officials will act as the Building Permit.  Once the signed building permit has been received and the fees have been paid in full at the Park office, the applicant may precede with construction.


The lessee or their agent is responsible for arranging inspections at pre-determined stages of the construction process for all dwelling units with the appointed BOS.  The appointed BOS will identify how many inspections are required which may include any or all of the stages listed below:

New and/or Major Additions to Dwellings:

  • Foundation (call prior to pouring concrete)
  • Foundation (call prior to backfill)
  • Framing (call before insulation installed)
  • Vapour Barrier (call after insulation and vapour barrier installation, prior to boarding)
  • Pre-Occupancy (call prior to occupancy)

For all inspections the lessee or their agent must contact the appointed BOS at least five (5) working days in advance of the required inspection.

Regulations under The Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act require that an owner who undertakes to construct or have constructed a building with a structure within the scope of Part 4 of the NBC shall have an architect or engineer complete an inspection of construction of the structure to ensure compliance with the design.  This includes, but is not limited to: Foundations, structural framing, pre-engineered building(s), cast-in-place concrete structures, structural steel components, floor systems, etc.

Building inspections are a required part of the building permit process as they aid in ensuring that projects conform to key requirements of the National Building Code.  Often problems that arise or questions that may come up can be dealt with in the field with the building inspector involved in that job.  Inspections are meant to aid the lessee and builder in ensuring that all key elements of the National Building Code are met.

How do I know what my permit fee would be?

Once a value of construction is determined by the Development Officer, a permit fee is calculated using the fees below.

  • Up to $16,666 value of development - $100 minimum fee
  • Over $16,667 value of development - $6 per $1,000 value
  • Over $1,000,000 value of development - $6000 maximum fee.

What does Development Value or Cost of Construction mean?

Development value or cost of construction means the total cost of the building to the owner in its completed form and includes the cost of all building work, materials of construction, building systems, overhead and profit of contractor and subcontractors.  The cost of do-it- yourself labour and used materials are deemed to be current market cost of new materials and labour.

What if I do the work myself?

Whether or not the lessee contributes labour or materials, the estimated value of the proposed development should reflect the entire cost of the project.  Plan reviews and site inspections are still required by PCS regardless of how the end product is achieved

Other Information:

How long does it take to get a Building Permit?

Providing quality plans are presented with no major problems with adherence to the NBC, a normal turnaround time would be 10 days.  We do ask for 30, but normally try to speed things along so construction is not held up.

Do I require any additional Permits or Inspections?

Yes, PCS must enforce the Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act and Regulations regarding building construction.  Other provincial, municipal and federal agencies administer plumbing, gas and electrical permits and inspections.  Depending on the type of project, you may be required to obtain these permits prior to construction.

For more information call:

  • For gas and electrical permits and inspections call Saskatchewan Power Corporation at: 1-306-566-2500 in Regina, or 1-306-934-7737 in Saskatoon.
  • For plumbing permits and inspections, call the Regional Health Authority.

Approval and issuance of a “Building Permit” does not absolve the applicant of obtaining other permits and approvals that may be required according to other municipal, provincial and federal government legislation.

Who is responsible to ensure applicable building codes are met during construction?

The lessee is ultimately responsible as indicated on the permit application under the “Request for Building Permit” section that must bear the lessees signature.  This is one reason why it is wise to hire a reputable contractor who is familiar with the NBC.

The licensed Building Official will also work with the owner and contractor to assist with the delivery of the best possible product.  However, Section 9 of the UBAS Act Regulations states:

No local authority or Building Official shall:
a)      assist in the laying out of any work;
b)      assist in construction of any work; or
c)      act in the capacity of an engineering or architectural consultant;
in relation to a building that is, or will be, under the jurisdiction of the local authority or Building Official, as the case may be.
A local authority or Building Official may answer any questions that are relevant to the Code to the extent that is reasonably necessary for the administration of these regulations.

Can I start work now and get a Development/Building Permit later?

The short answer here is no.  There are too many variables that need to be checked prior to construction.

What are some obstacles to quick Development/Building Permit approval?

  • Incomplete plot plan doesn’t show existing building location on the lot, lot size, north arrow, street names, tree locations, water/sewer line locations, natural gas line location, size and location of proposed and new construction, park name, subdivision name, lessee’s name, legal description.  It is almost impossible to show too much information.
  • Incomplete design drawings.  These should be detailed enough to hand to a contractor for a price estimate.
  • Plans that do not identify all critical elements regarding safety and structural integrity.

Where can I get copies of the Codes and Standards?

NBC 2005
National Research Council of Canada
Toll-free: 1-877-672-2672

Construction of Preserved Wood Foundations (CAN/CSA-S406-92)
Canadian Standards Association
178 Rexdale Boulevard
Toll-Free: 1-800-463-6727

Building Standards, Corrections & Public Safety
310-1855 Victoria Avenue
Ph: 1-306-787-4113

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