Unified Building By-Law

ADELAIDE METCALFE – In a proactive move towards modernizing building regulations and creating a harmonized approach across regions, Chief Building Official Arnie Marsman recently presented a unified building by-law proposal for Adelaide Metcalfe and its neighboring municipalities. During the last council meeting on September 18, Marsman emphasized the evolving demands of the building industry and the pressing need for streamlined regulations to address contemporary challenges.

Marsman opened his presentation by citing the Building Code Act, emphasizing the importance of municipalities having a building by-law in place. Such a by-law would address specific concerns that a municipality might have regarding their building division's operations. From required drawings, permit types, and fees to inspection details and site fencing, the by-law would encapsulate all these aspects to create a transparent and efficient process.

Adelaide Metcalfe's current building by-law, in place since 2012, is overdue for an update. The construction and building industry have seen a wave of changes over the past decade, driving the need for a revised and modern by-law. Marsman's proposal doesn't come in isolation. In 2021, Middlesex Centre expanded its service agreement to include various municipalities, like Adelaide Metcalfe. Each township, as of now, operates with its unique building by-law, which can create inconsistencies in building procedures and regulations.

Marsman also highlighted the benefit of having one building by-law applicable across all municipalities in the service agreement. He mentioned that he will be pitching the same proposal to other municipalities in the coming weeks. Interestingly, Middlesex Center's council has already had a glimpse of the proposal, and Lucan-Biddulph and North Middlesex are next in line.

A significant aspect of the proposed by-law is the switch from traditional paper drawings to e-permitting. Marsman emphasized that while paper drawings would still be accepted, introducing e-permitting makes the process more in tune with the digital age. Furthermore, the new by-law will enforce set fines for non-compliance, introduce the concept of remote inspections, and place greater importance on property grading, drainage, and site servicing.

To ensure the by-law's legality and strength, it underwent a review with the county solicitor. The cost of this legal review is to be shared equally among the five municipalities.

Finally, a motion regarding the adoption of building by-law was then swiftly passed, setting Adelaide Metcalfe on a path to more streamlined building processes in the future.

David Gomez, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner