New building bylaw coming

The City of Penticton is inviting the public to examine its proposed new building bylaw, which includes more eco-friendly building practices.

The city’s current building bylaw was created in 1994 and is in need of a refresh. A draft of the new bylaw was presented to council Tuesday and has now been posted online for final resident feedback.

The new building bylaws will phase in recommendations from the BC Energy Step Code, provincial requirements that are aiming to make buildings net-zero energy ready by 2032. The city is planning on bringing in the requirements gradually, with the next two years focused on awareness and education and "by year three, there will be new requirements for more energy-efficient building materials and construction practices.

Several other changes are also proposed for the bylaw, including tweaks around administrative authority and responsibilities, permit requirements for each building type, expectations for enforcement action and design criteria that is unique to Penticton.

“The province has made a number of changes to the BC Building Act to standardize and streamline the building permit process so that it is the same regardless of what community you are working in,” said building and permitting manager Ken Kunka. “The City’s new building bylaw will reflect the new standards for the province but will also address the unique requirements for building in Penticton, including design for fire department access, and precautions for infill and steep slope developments.”

The building bylaw applies to the design, construction or occupancy of new buildings or structures, and the alteration, reconstruction, demolition, removal, relocation or occupancy or change of use or occupancy of existing buildings and structure.

Anyone involved in construction or development is urged to familiarize themselves with the changes in advance of implementation expected this fall. The City is hosting an industry stakeholder workshop on August 30 to review the draft with interested builders and developers.

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