Planning to construct, alter, renovate, demolish, relocate, or change the occupancy of any building in Whistler? You will need a building permit. The information below is for reference only. For more detailed information regarding your specific project, please see our contact information in the RELATED tab to the right.
- Builder's Information Package
- What is a building permit?
- When are building permits required?
- Opportunity to legitimize illegal spaces in detached and duplex dwellings
- Building permit security deposit refunds
- Building permits and applications
- Other permits
- Accessing and Viewing Building Plans and Documents
- Building Permit inquiry
Click here for a Builder's Information Package.
A building permit is the formal approval from the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) to construct, add to, or renovate a building on your property and allows the municipality to protect the interest of both the individuals and the community as a whole. Whistler’s Building and Plumbing Bylaw No. 1617, 2002, Section 6.1 determines when a permit is required and states:
“No person shall commence or continue any construction, alteration, reconstruction, demolition, removal, relocation or change the occupancy of any building, structure or plumbing system including excavation or other work related to construction unless a building official has issued a valid and existing permit for the work”.
By reviewing and approving plans before any work is done, the municipality can ensure that buildings comply with:
- The BC Building Code, which sets the standards for design and materials
- The Zoning Bylaw No. 303, 1983, and its controls on buildings and uses suitable to the area
- Other health and safety regulations
Building permits are required whenever you wish to:
- Construct a new building
- Construct a new accessory building or structure over 10 m2 in area
- Repair, renovate or add to an existing building
- Remove, relocate, alter or construct interior walls
- Complete a previously unfinished area in an existing building
- Undertake tenant improvements in an existing space
- Renovate your home
- Demolish a building
- Add new plumbing fixtures
Building permits are not required for non-structural minor modifications such as:
- New flooring
A building permit is required for any new construction or modifications to existing buildings including change of use. Permits are not required for minor cosmetic upgrades, such as painting or flooring. Most large buildings require the services of an architect and/or engineer to certify the proposed design. Most of these projects will also require the approval of the community life or resort experience planners.
Whistler is subject to high snow, wind and rain loads. All buildings and structures need to be engineered for these conditions. The climatic data lists the applicable values.
Three amendment bylaws adopted recently by Whistler council will provide homeowners with the opportunity to legitimize illegal spaces in single family and duplex dwellings.
Many of these spaces, when they were originally constructed, could not obtain building permits because this additional floor area would have resulted in a total Gross Floor Area (GFA) exceeding the maximum permitted GFA for the property, thereby necessitating individual rezoning applications.
Illegal spaces have created uncertainty for property owners, contractors, and realtors with respect to zoning and building code compliance, in addition to potential life safety, insurance, and liability implications for owners.
Read more about how these bylaw amendments affect detached and duplex dwellings in Whistler and how to apply to legitimize illegal spaces.
Prior to April 2012, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) required a security deposit for building permits to cover the cost of any potential repairs to municipal roads, works, and property, which may have been damaged during construction. Because homeowners or contractors did not arrange a final inspection to ensure there were no deficiencies or damage to municipal roads, works, or property, many of these security deposits were not refunded.
If you applied for building permit and paid a security deposit, which has not yet been refunded, please request an inspection. You may be eligible for a security deposit refund. The RMOW currently working to return security deposits and close files for building permits issued between 2002 and 2006. Read more.
- Click here for the Building Permit Security Deposit Refund Application
- Click here for the Residential New Building Application
- Click here for the Residential Renovation Application
- Click here for the Complex Building Application
- Click here for the Commercial Tenant Improvement Permit
- Click here for the Multi Family Building Application
A fireplace permit is required prior to the installation or alteration of any solid fuel burning appliances including wood stoves, fireplace inserts, pellet stoves and factory built or masonry fireplaces. A minimum of two municipal inspections will be required; one at the rough-in stage and another when the stove installation is complete.
A plumbing permit is required for the installation or alteration of a potable water service, sanitary service, storm service, underground plumbing and plumbing system including the installation of plumbing fixtures. A minimum of two municipal inspections will be required; one at the rough-in stage and another when the installation is complete.
A demolition permit is required prior interior or exterior demolition of any building or structure.
This permit is required prior to beginning renovations to a tenant space including: wall construction, ceiling construction, electrical or plumbing work. The tenant will need authorization from the unit owner to get a building permit, the owner's authorization of agent form is found inside this application package. Scale drawings are required and must be certified by an architect in many cases. Issues reviewed include: fire exits, seating, washrooms, sprinkler coverage, and fire separations. There are other requirements such as health department approval for food/drink sales and plumbing review for additional fixtures. Planning department review is required for any exterior changes and signage is also regulated. Strata approval is required for changes that affect the common property of a building.
- click here for the Request for Plans and Documents form
Click here for more information on building and plumbing permit fees.
Search for building permits, which have been applied for or issued for Whistler properties, online.
A registered professional (P Engineer) shall undertake the design and conduct field reviews of the construction of a retaining structure greater than 1.5 metres in height. Sealed copies of the design must be submitted to the building department prior to construction. The RMOW Zoning Bylaw No. 303, 1983, has certain restrictions for retaining walls that must be met. Pease refer to section 5 “Projections into Required Setback Areas” sentence (d) for further details.
This guideline is intended to clarify the application of BC Regulation 101/2011. The guideline does not form part of the regulation, but is intended to provide further information on the installation of rough-ins for solar domestic hot water systems (SDHWS). Some information is also provided related to installation of a SDHWS.
Workers at construction sites in Whistler have been injured by bears attempting to gain access to food and garbage. These guidelines provide simple ways to keep worksites clean and safe and keep bears away.