Building Permits – Tenant Improvement

This page provides information about commercial, industrial and institutional tenant improvements. A building permit is required when you wish to:

  • Repair, renovate or add to an existing building;
  • Remove, relocate, alter or construct interior walls, stairs, doors or windows;
  • Complete a previously unfinished area in an existing building;
  • Demolish, relocate or move a building;
  • Construct a mezzanine or second floor;
  • Construct racking storage;
  • Install a walk-in cooler;
  • Install a spray booth;
  • Install or upgrade an exhaust system; or
  • Any other project Building staff deem necessary

Why get a Building Permit?

Building permits are required before you build, demolish, repair or alter most buildings, decks, mezzanines, retaining walls, garages, carports, secondary suites, swimming pools, plumbing, sprinklers, furnaces or structures in the City of Port Coquitlam.

It is important to get a Building Permit before beginning your project to:

  • Protect the safety of occupants,
  • Ensure you won’t have to tear your work down and start over with the required permits,
  • Avoid additional permits and fees incurred if you build without a permit,
  • Reassure buyers who avoid purchasing buildings with unauthorized construction,
  • Maintain the value of your home, and
  • Ensure any new buildings and structures comply with all building regulations including the Building and Plumbing Bylaw, the BC Building Code and Zoning Bylaw regulations.

Obtaining a Building Permit will also allow your future business tenants to get a business licence, and keeps your insurance agent and neighbours happy.

Get Started: Pre-application
  • Check PoCoMAP for property information such as zoning, land use under the Official Community Plan (OCP) and flood construction levels.
  • Confirm with the Planning Division that the business use is permitted on the property. You can also check the property zoning at PoCoMAP and read about permitted uses in the Zoning Bylaw.
  • Confirm with the Planning Division whether a Development Permit will be required.
  • Identify any encumbrances registered on title, such as easements, right of way, restrictive covenants and land use contracts, by contacting the BC Land Title Offices at 604.660.2595.
  • Ensure your project is designed to comply with building regulations including the BC Building Code and City bylaws such as the Building and Plumbing Bylaw and the Zoning Bylaw. For complex applications, the Building Official may require a registered architect or professional engineer.
  • Calculate your parking requirements (if applicable) by checking the Parking and Development Management Bylaw.
  • You may need a Highway Use Permit if your project will temporarily use or impact the roads or traffic. You may also need a Highway Encroachment Agreement (See Schedule A of the Highway Encroachment Bylaw) if you wish to occupy public property.
  • Other permits may be required, such as a Demolition Permit, Fire Sprinkler Permit, Plumbing Permit and Energy Permit.
Application Process

Prepare a key plan that identifies where in the building the work is proposed and what tenant uses are located on either side of you. Please refer to the application checklist that is part of the Building Permit Application Form. You can submit this form and checklist at the Building Division offices (see below).

Where applicable, ensure that you only submit your Building Permit application after you have received any required approvals for rezoning or Development Permits.

A builder contractor must have a valid business licence with the City of Port Coquitlam before a Building Permit can be issued. Please see the Business Licensing page for more information on applying for a business licence.

Timing

Depending on the complexity of your application, the Building Division’s goal is to review building permit applications for alterations to an existing building in 2-4 weeks, for new houses in 3-4 weeks, and for new large buildings in 12 weeks.

Fees, Charges, and Security/Deposit

All application fees are outlined in Schedule D of the Fees and Charges Bylaw.

Building Permit fees are based on the value of construction with a non-refundable 50% charge due at the time of application. The remainder is due when the permit is issued. The permit fee doubles if work has started without a Building Permit being issued. The fee is reduced if a registered architect or professional engineer had provided stamped building drawings for the design. Application fees are non-refundable.

The Planning Division or Engineering & Public Works may require fees and securities, due before the Building Permit is issued.

A Highway Use Permit deposit may be required.  This charge is refundable, if no damage has occurred to City property during the development of the project. Deposit amounts vary depending on development.

Security deposits are payable by of cash, cheque or direct payment. No credit card payments are permitted.

Any work without a permit will result in increased fees.

Approval Process

Staff Review

Depending on the complexity of the Building Permit application, the Building Division may circulate the application for review by the Planning Division, Fire Department and Engineering & Public Works. If the application does not comply with all bylaw and code requirements, staff will provide a written list of resubmission requirements, in the form of the Plan Review Letter.

Permit Issuance

Once all application requirements have been met and all associated approvals have been obtained,  you will be notified that your Building Permit is ready to be issued. Any outstanding fees are due at time of permit pickup.

Inspection

Construction Inspection

At various stages of the project, a Building Inspector will inspect forms, under slab, framing, insulation, occupancy, and final inspection. Permit holders are responsible for contacting the Building Division to request and inspection with 48 hours notice. If the request is received prior to 3 pm, every attempt is made to complete the inspection on the next business day. The Inspection Request Line is 604.927.5445.

Fire Inspection

Fire & Emergency Services will also conduct an onsite inspection. They will look for the location of existing hydrants, ensure that access to the project is suitable to accommodate Fire Department equipment in case of an emergency, confirm that an approved construction Site Safety Plan is in place. For more information, contact Fire & Emergency Services at 604.927.5466 or fire@portcoquitlam.ca.

Final Inspection

All documentation from all the registered professionals must be received by the Building Division prior to the scheduling of the final inspection. You must also confirm that each individual permit issued in conjunction with the Building Permit has received final inspection and there are no outstanding deficiencies. You must contact the Inspection Request Line at 604.927.5445 to request a final building inspection.

The Fire Protective Services Division will also be present for final inspection of sprinkler systems and fire alarm verifications, and will need to be contacted by the applicant prior to the inspection at 604.927.5466.

Post Construction

After a passed final inspection, the Building Inspector will notify Engineering & Operations, which will then conduct their final inspection.

Fire & Emergency Services will also conduct inspections following project completion. Depending on the type of building, the Fire Department will inspect your premises either bi-annually or annually. Please refer to Section 9.1 of the Fire and Emergency Services Bylaw for inspection frequency.

Contact

Building Division
Tel 604.927.5444
24-hour Inspection Request 604.927.5445
Email building@portcoquitlam.ca

Location and Mailing Address

City Hall Annex (Above the Bank of Montreal)
200-2564 Shaughnessy St
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 3G4

Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)

Please arrive before 4 pm to allow time for application and permit processing.