Changes Due to COVID-19:                                                                                          
Meetings with community members will be by appointment only.


For Building Permit Inquiries:
Call Development Office: 902-742-9691
Email Dwayne Roberts:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Building Permits.  If you are not able to find the information you are looking for, please contact the Development Office at 902-742-9691.

  1.    What is a Building Permit?
  2.    How do Building Permits protect you, your family and your neighbours?
  3.    Why are Building Permits necessary?
  4.    When do I need a Building Permit?
  5.    How do I apply for a Building Permit?
  6.    How are Building Permit applications processed?
  7.    What about site plan approval?
  8.    What can I do if I'm refused a Building Permit?
  9.    What are my obligations during construction?
10.    What should I know about demolition?
11.    What do I contact to see if my project meets zoning by-laws?
12.    If I don't require a Building Permit, are there any other permits or approvals I will need?

1.   What is a Building Permit?

A Building Permit is your formal permission to begin construction.  It means that plans for any new structure, addition or renovation have been approved by the municipality, and that they comply with the
Nova Scotia Building Code, the local Land Use By-law and any other applicable laws and regulations. 

2.   How do permits protect you, your family and your neighbours?

If you or a contractor you hired are going to build, add, renovate or alter any part of your residence, or perform work on the electrical, plumbing and/or mechanical system for your residence, ensure that a permit has been obtained prior to starting the work/installation.

Permits ensure that the work is in compliance with all codes and safety standards and will be inspected by a Municipal Building Inspector to ensure professional standards are met. 

3.   Why are Building Permits necessary?

Through the use of Building Permits, a municipality can regulate the types of construction that take place in the community and ensure that proper building standards are met.  The Building Permit process protects the individual’s interests as well as those of the community at large, and provides for the construction of sound and safe structures, in accordance with the Building Code.

Your Building Permit can be a helpful tool for you.  With it comes an opportunity to talk to your local building officials and consult with them on construction methods and various materials to make sure you do the work only once; and your project will keep up to the latest  material standards. 

4.   When do I need a Building Permit?

When considering any kind of construction on your property, you should discuss your plans with the local Development staff first. They can advise you about any other permits or approvals you might need, such as demolition permits, minor variances and electrical permits.

If you are not sure whether you need a permit or not, simply call the municipal building department and ask.  Either you will get an answer over the telephone, or a Building Inspector may visit your site in order to advise you what is required.

It is important to check with the Development Office as a Development Permit may still be required before any project is started, even if a Building Permit is not required.

For more information, please call: 902-742-9691.

5.   How do I apply for a Building Permit?

Applications can be made at the Development Office. Along with an application, you will be required to submit sketches, building drawings, plans and other documents to the municipality for approval. You will have to pay an application fee and additional charges for such services as water connections and sewer connections. 

Homeowners may fear that applying for a Building Permit will cause unnecessary and costly changes to their plans, and that the process will create long delays.  In reality, most applications are processed quite quickly. In applying for a permit, access to the municipal building official’s advice and years of experience is available. 

For interior work, a floor plan and a cross-section drawing will usually be required. For work affecting the exterior you’ll be asked to supply a floor plan, a cross-section, a site plan and elevations. These should be made to scale, showing all dimensions. 

For buildings over three stories or more than 600m2, an architect or engineer will be needed to design your building and prepare drawings and plans. 

To check the exact requirements of the permit application, contact your local building official.  For more information please call: 902-742-9691

6.   How are Building Permit applications processed?

Municipal staff reviews your application to ensure that it is complete and that it complies with the Building Code, the local Land Use by-law and all other applicable laws.  It may then be sent to other municipal officials for their consideration.

Applications that involve simple alterations or additions can usually be dealt with fairly quickly, while more complex proposals naturally take longer to process.  If a zoning change or minor variance is necessary, or if building plans must be altered to comply with the Building Code, the changes must be approved and in place before a Building Permit can be issued.

Where there are problems with your proposal, local building officials will usually discuss them with you in detail before considering refusal of a permit.  The following represents a summarized version of the Building Permit process:

  1. BEFORE APPLYING
    Before submitting an application, consult with municipal building officials.
  2. THE APPLICATION
    Submit an application with supporting documentation to the local Building Official, along with the fee.
  3. CONSIDERATION
    Application is reviewed for completeness and against local zoning by-laws, the Building Code and other legislation.
  4. DECISION
    Application may be approved or refused.  Inspections specified.
  5. INSPECTIONS DURING CONSTRUCTION
    A Building Inspector checks major phases of construction through to completion.
  6. CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED
    No building is to be occupied before first obtaining a final inspection and an Occupancy Permit or Completion Certificate.

For more information please call:    902-742-9691

7.   What about site plan approval?

If your property is covered by the municipality’s Land Use by-law, a Building Permit will not be issued until you have fulfilled all the site plan requirements laid out by the municipality. For detailed information, contact our Development Officer to find out what the situation is in your community.
For more information please call:  902-742-9691

8.   What can I do if I'm refused a Building Permit?

If you have been refused a Building Permit, local building officials will advise you of the reasons. If you have discussed the matter with them beforehand and have not been able to resolve the problems, you have the option of appealing through the Nova Scotia Building Advisory Committee.   

9.  What are my obligations during construction?

Building Permits often list inspections that are required under the Building Code. These inspections are carried out by a Building Inspector, who checks each major phase of your construction. His duty is to make sure that the work is being carried out according to:

The Building Code
Your Permit
Your approved building plans

The Inspector must be able to see the part of the construction he is to inspect, and usually needs 24 to 48 hours advance notice.  If the Inspector finds that some work does not conform to the approved plans, he will advise you and may send a notice asking that the situation be remedied. Another inspection may be required before you resume work. If work continues without resolving the problem, you can be subject to legal action.

In addition to co-operating with any inspections, you are also required to:

1.  Post your Building Permit in a window or other prominent place on site
2.  Keep a copy of your building plan on site
3.  Bring any proposed changes to the attention of your local building official as soon as possible.  These changes will require approval in the same manner as the original building plans

10.  What should I know about demolition?

Before you demolish any building in part or whole, you are required by the Building Code to apply for a Demolition Permit from your municipality’s building official. The process for obtaining one is similar to that for a Building Permit. In some cases, you must hire a professional engineer to oversee the demolition.

The safety of your demolition or new construction site is also regulated by the Building Code.  The Building Code regulates the safety of the work site.  So if work may endanger the public or neighboring properties, the contractor or owner may be directed to install fencing, boarding or barricades.

You should be aware that special situations may affect a proposed demolition.  Heritage buildings intended for designation or formally designated as having historic or architectural significance through Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage are subject to certain conditions. 

1.  A building intended for designation cannot be demolished without local council approval.

2.  Designation does not permanently prohibit demolition but requires a permit to be obtained to demolish a building on a designed property.  If the Municipal Council refuses such a permit, no demolition may take place for 180 days.  This is to allow an opportunity to negotiate with the owner to somehow preserve the distinctive character of the building. 

11.  Who do I contact to see if my project meets zoning by-laws?

Any questions on whether your project is suitable for the area should be directed to the Municipal Development Officer.  For more information please call: 902-742-9691.

12.  If I don’t require a Building Permit, are there any other permits or approvals I will need?

Along with it’s jurisdiction over Development and Building Permits, the Municipal Development Office handles other issues such as vender’s licenses and special event licenses.  In short, if you are in any doubt, call our office and our friendly staff will assist you.


Taxation


Changes Due to COVID-19:visa mastercard
Meetings with community members will be by appointment only.      

There are 3 options for tax payments:

1. Mail in your payment: 932 Highway #1, Hebron NS B5A 5Z5.
2. Pay your tax bill through on-line banking or at your bank.
3. Pay by Credit Card through Paymentus Corporation at 1-855-288-4087 (Paymentus is an independent third party company providing a service. Paymentus will charge a fee to your credit card for this service.)


Below are some of the most frequently asked questions of the Taxation Department.  If you do not see the information you are looking for, please contact our office at 902-742-7159 or email Linda Power, Property Information Manager 

  1.   What is the tax rate?
  2.   What is the sewer rate?
  3.   What is the fire rate?
  4.   How are my tax bills calculated?
  5.   When are my taxes due?
  6.   What are the methods of payment?
  7.   Can I appeal my tax bill?
  8.   How do I change my mailing address?
  9.   Who do I talk to about my assessment?

1.  What is the tax rate?


The tax rate for the 2020/2021 tax year is as follows:

Residential $1.18 / $100 of assessment
Commercial $2.17 / $100 of assessment

2.  What is the sewer rate?

The sewer rate for the 2020/2021 tax year is $82.16 per unit quarterly or $328.65 per unit annually.

3.  What is the fire rate?
 
There are seven fire departments which cover the municipality and each department has their own rate as follows:
                 

Carleton & District Volunteer Fire Department                 $.11 / $100 of assessment
Port Maitland Volunteer Fire Department                 $.14 / $100 of assessment
Yarmouth Fire Department                 $.16 / $100 of assessment
Lakes & District Volunteer Fire Department                 $.17 / $100 of assessment
Lake Vaughan Volunteer Fire Department                 $.15 / $100 of assessment
Valley & District Volunteer Fire Department                 $.08 / $100 of assessment
Kemptville District Volunteer Fire Department                 $.11 / $100 of assessment


 4.  How are my tax bills calculated?
 
The tax calculation is based on the assessed value of the property multiplied by the applicable tax rate divided by 100.  The assessed value is the market value or CAP value of the property determined by Property Valuation Services Corporation.

 5.  When are my taxes due?


The total amount billed must be paid by the due date, June 30th, to avoid interest charges.  Interest is applied at the rate of 1.5% per month to any outstanding balance.

6.  What are the methods of payment?

Payment can be made by cash, cheque, debit, on-line and telephone banking, or automatic withdrawal.

 7.  Can I appeal my tax bill?

No, you cannot appeal your tax bill.  Your tax bill is based on your property assessment which is completed by Property Valuation Services Corporation.  Your assessment will be mailed to you in January and it is at this time that you have the right to appeal.

8.  How do I change my mailing address?

To change your mailing address, please fill out the following form and return it to our office.                                                            Request for Address Change

9.  Who do I talk to about my assessment?

If you have questions about your assessment, please contact Property Valuation Services Corporation at          1-800-380-7775 or  www.pvsc.ca