The Building Department Operates within the Municipality of the District of Digby. The Municipality has in place a building by-law which supplements the Provincial Code National Building Code.
The office employs two full-time Inspectors and an Administrative Assistant.
Other duties include issuing civic numbers, maintaining records, addressing complaints made under the noise by-law, and handling complaints received under dangerous or unsightly properties.
Department contact numbers:
- Cathy Barr: Building Inspector
- Chris Thibodeau: Fire Inspector and Assistant Building Inspector
- Tammy Smith: Administrative Assistant
- pdf Building Permit Online Application (194 KB)
- pdf Development Permit (76 KB)
- pdf Zoning Confirmation Certificate Online Application (136 KB)
Municipality of Digby Building Permit Application Process
Who or when are building permits required?
Building permits are required by the owner’s all new construction, as well as when existing buildings are altered or renovated or if a building is relocated.
The local building by-law exempts non-structural work carried out by the homeowner with a value less than $3500.00, (this does not apply if a contractor is employed) also buildings under 150 sq. feet in the area if used as an accessory building to the dwelling and are located on the same lot as the building they serve and it will not be wired for electricity. Contact the building department if you are not sure if you need a permit.
What other permits or approvals are needed?
Some other permits may be required prior to the issuing of the building permit such as,
Ministers consent to access the driveway from a public road (DOT) as well as the structure itself if it is located within 100 meters of the public highway. There is a refundable fee of 300.00 dollars that must accompany this application which can be picked up at the Department of Transportation office Robertson Weir Road Conway
If the structure is outside an area serviced by the municipality sewer system then the Department of the Environment's (DOE) approval for an onsite sewer system is required. This requires an application with a system design recommended by a qualified person.
In areas serviced with a sewage collection system, one must apply to be connected. The actual connection cost along with the annual service charge is an expense to the homeowner. The cost varies from area to area as there are different systems in place. The municipality owns and operated some sewage treatment systems and in other areas, they have an agreement with the neighbouring municipality or Town to provide this service.
In some areas of the Municipality, a Development Permit may be necessary prior to the issuing of a building permit. The Conway area is one example where development permits are required.
We have all permits and approvals in hand from outside agencies. What’s Next?
Once the applicant has both the DOE and the DOT approvals we can now look at the building permit application completed application must contain enough information so that compliance with the National Building Code (NBC) can be determined. A complete set of drawings is by far the best way to proceed, this gives the builder as well as the homeowner a finished view of the project and will help eliminated overruns in the final cost by eliminating guessing what is expected.
What about the cost?
Fee’s for building permits vary as to the type and use of the structure examples are: Dwellings = .10 cents per square foot of living area. Plus $20.00 processing charge
Commercial = .14 cents per sq. foot or 2.00 per thousand of construction cost. Farm buildings = .05 cents per sq. Foot.
Contact the office for a complete list of fees.
Does all work require inspection and approval? What inspections are required?
We are required to carry out the following inspections, and it is the owner’s obligation to notify this department when they are ready for the inspections.
Footings- once the footings are formed up and poured. We also take the opportunity to assign a civic number at this time provided the driveway is in place.
Foundation- after the foundation walls are in place but before they are backfilled. Framing- after the framing is complete inside and out.
Vapour barrier- After the insulation is complete and the vapour barrier is in place.
A plumbing rough-in is also conducted at this time.
Final or occupancy- once the building is complete but prior to occupancy.
Although we are required to carry out the above inspections we do not charge for inspections and do not limit the owner to the five. We will answer questions or drop by the construction site as requested.