Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

Permits first
By Nicole Vaive Calgary Sun

Whether it's rain, hail, sleet or snow, there's always something threatening your car.

And, that prime bit of space out back looks perfect for a garage.

Before saying goodbye to scraping the windshield, ask why there's no garage there to begin with.

Small lots, gas and power lines are only some reasons why.

So we asked the experts: How can I find out if a garage is permitted on my property?

"We have a requirement checklist on," says city planning customer technician Brian Garland.

"Really we're looking at meeting the bylaw rules. How you're going to construct your garage will determine the drawings you have to show us."

For homeowners building a pre-made garage from a home improvement store, plans must be provided to the city before any building permits are doled out.

"Provide a copy of the real property report or a plot plan showing the footprint of your house. Any groundfloor cantilevers, covered decks, all of that will enable us to do calculations to see how big your garage can be."

If you're planning on lighting and heat, then plan on doing more paper work.

"Normally it's a straightforward process," Garland says. "If it meets all the bylaws you basically get a building permit right away."

For sloped lots, or do-it-yourself garages, however, a new set of rules come into play.

Stan Schwartzenberger says before buying building materials, measure your yard.

"It will depend on lot size," the city's manager of development and business says.

"If you go beyond the lot coverage -- typically 45 percent -- you won't be able to do the garage."

Schwartzenberger says garages built without permits are a no-no.

"The building regulation group would send out an order advising to remove the building."

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