Building Permits & Inspection

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 Powley House

Contact Information

177 - 1st Avenue NE - PO Box 340 - Swift Current, SK - S9H 3W1

Fax Number: 306-778-2194
Email Address: bldg@swiftcurrent.ca

Cynthia Starchuk, Senior Building Official: 306-778-2714

  • Commercial Permits
  • Residential Permits

The City of Swift Current, through municipal bylaws, regulates construction within the city limits. For your convenience, a summary of some of our more common queries are set out below:

Property line locates

A property line locate can only be done by a Saskatchewan Land Surveyor. A Real Property Report may be used by a property owner to assist in the locating of a property property line.

The City does not provide copies of Surveyor Certificates or Real Property Reports even if there is a copy in the building file as these are copyright documents to the surveyor who prepared it. For more information about Real Property Reports. Please refer to:  https://www.slsa.sk.ca/real_property_reports.php.

Determining front, side, and rear yards

The front yard is determined by the narrow lot dimension that faces a street. In the case of a corner lot, the front yard is still determined in the same manner. The orientation of the house does not determine the front yard. A minimum front yard is required for all new construction projects. In existing neighbourhoods, the front yard may be reduced if there is an established building line. An established building line would be created by all the houses lining up and a new home could be placed on the building line even if that is a shorter distance than the required minimum by the zoning bylaw for the residential zone.

Side yards are typically a minimum of 1.5 meters (5-0”) on interior lots and 3.0 meters (10-0”) on the flanking street of corner lot.

Rear yards are measured from the rear property line. Principal buildings are not permitted to encroach into the minimum rear yard, but there are exceptions for accessory building to be in them and for open air decks to encroach into the required minimum rear yard.

Fences

There are no regulations regarding fence placement and ownership. Because of this, no one should ever assume that a fence is constructed on the property line. If there is a dispute between neighbours regarding fence ownership or placement, this is a civil matter and the City of Swift Current will not render a judgement. The only way to determine on whose property a fence is physically located on is to have a Saskatchewan Land Surveyor carryout a survey. Fees for this service are charged by the Surveying Company.

Building permits are not required for the construction of a fence, however, there are a few items to be aware of when building a fence. In a residential zone, no one may build a fence using barbed or electrified wire. A fence may be no more than 2.0 meters (6’-6”) high in the rear yard. In this situation, the rear yard starts at the front plane of the house facing the narrow portion of the street and runs to the rear lot line, typically located parallel to an alley. A fence may only be 0.8 meters (2-8”) high in the front yard. The front yard runs from the front plane of the house to the street.

Do not build your fence on City property. If a fence is located on City property and needs to be removed because the City must do work on sidewalks (as an example), it will not be replaced by the City.

Accessory Buildings

Accessory buildings (sheds and garages) in residential areas require building permits when they exceed 100 SF (9.3 m2) in building area regardless of what they are made of. This includes fabric tent type structures, polyurethane sheds, or traditional wood structures. Buildings under that size do not require a permit but must located correctly to building codes and zoning bylaw requirements.

Locating an Accessory Building:

  1. Accessory buildings may only be placed in the rear yard. The rear yard is determined to the area from the plane of the principal building (the house) closest to the rear lot line and the rear lot line.
  2. Regardless of size, no accessory building may be closer than 2’ (600 mm) to any property line.
  3. The edge of any eave on an accessory building may be no closer than 18” (450 mm) to any property line. Depending on the width of the overhang, a building face may need to be more than the 2’ minimum to accommodate the minimum distance for the edge of the eaves.
  4. There may be no windows or passage doors on building face unless it is at least 4’ (1200 mm) from a property line.
  5. An overhead door large enough to be used for vehicle access must be at least 5’ (1500 mm) from a property line.
  6. Garages require concrete floors.
  7. Garden sheds may be placed on crushed rock or other free draining material and the floor constructed of preserved wood or other material that will not rot at the approval of building official in lieu of concrete. The floor assembly must be closed off in a manner that will not allow small animals to nest under the shed or allow garbage and other material to collect under it.
  8. Accessory buildings are limited to 20’ (6 m) measured from the peak of the roof to finished grade. Depending on topography, taller structures may be allowed but these are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the accessory building should not be taller than the principal building.

In most residential areas, site coverage of buildings to land cannot exceed 40% and accessory buildings may not exceed the area of the principal building.

Swimming Pools and Hot tubs

Building permits are required for in-ground, permanent above ground, and hot tub installations. Inflatable kid pools (the ones that typically get a hole within a few weeks and go into the trash) do not require building permits.

Safety rules must be adhered and are found in the swimming pool bylaw.

Retaining Walls

There are no regulations regarding the placement of or type of material used for retaining walls between private property. While the general rule is that property owners are responsible for keeping their kids, dogs, and dirt on their property, and disputes about who is responsible for the retaining wall is a civil matter and the City of Swift Current will not render any judgments in these situations. Please refer to the sections about property lines and fences.

Retaining walls under 0.6 meters (2’-0”) are treated as landscape elements and do not require a building permit. Like fences, do not construct them on City property.

Building permits are required for retaining walls that exceed 0.6 meters (2-0”). Where a retaining wall exceed 1.2 meters (4-0”) documentation of an engineered system or an engineered stamped drawing must accompany the building permit application.

 

The City's Building Official uses the National Building Code of Canada (NBC), The Uniform Building & Accessibility Standards Act (UBAS) as well as City established Bylaws to help with the governing of all building in the City.


We have provided some additional information that may be useful to you.
And we have compiled the following information which covers some of the most frequent questions that get directed to the department

In order to demolish or move a building (Commercial or Residential) either within the limits of the City or outside of the City of Swift Current, a demolition permit or a moving permit should be obtained.

Commercial Permits

All Commercial Permits are handled by Cynthia Starchuk 306-778-2714 or bldg@swiftcurrent.ca.

Two complete sets of plans are required for any commercial permit. The Building Official will circulate the plans to the appropriate outside agencies if applicable for their comments prior to approval.

Should any changes be required, the Building Official will contact the Applicant.

Inspections are carried out on a routine basis throughout construction.

Residential Permits

All Residential Permits are handled by Cynthia Starchuk 306-778-2714 or bldg@swiftcurrent.ca.

Two complete sets of plans are required for any new residential house. The inspector will review the plans and issue the permit.

Should any changes be required, the Inspector will contact the Applicant.

Inspections are carried out on a routine basis throughout construction.

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