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Show Home Building Permits Policy

 1 Policy statement
 2 Purpose of this policy
 3 Application
 4 Interpretation
 5 Guiding principles
 6 Exclusions
 7 Prohibitions
 8 Related procedures, guidelines, and publications

Policy statement

1   To provide a framework for the acceptance and issuance of single detached Building Permits for show homes, prior to the completion of works and services in a residential subdivision.

Purpose of this policy

2   The purpose of the policy is to address market demand to showcase individual developments to prospective clients prior to the full works and services being completed. The specific nature of the building architecture with development landscaping provides a gateway snapshot of the future community setting. This Policy provides a framework for them to proceed; with consistency, predictability and transparency for the application while ensuring that public health and safety measures are being met.


3   This Policy applies to subdivisions where the subdivision developer is also the Applicant and builder of the show home.


4   (1) Unless otherwise provided in this Policy, words and phrases used herein have the same meanings as in the Community Charter, S.B.C. 2003, c. 26, Local Government Act [RSBC 2015] c. 1, R.S.B.C. 2015, c. 1, Interpretation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 238, Building Bylaw, 2018, Development Bylaw, 2011 and British Columbia Building Code Regulation, or as the context and circumstances may require.

(2) A reference to a statute refers to a statute of the Province of British Columbia, and a reference to any statute, regulation or bylaw refers to that enactment, as amended or replaced from time to time.

(3) A reference to a Schedule or other document attached to this Policy refers to a Schedule or other document that is attached to and forms part of this Policy.

(4) Words in the singular include the plural and gender specific terms include both genders and corporations.

(5) Headings in this Policy are for convenience only and must not be construed as defining, or in any way limiting the scope or intent of this Policy.

(6) If any part of this Policy is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalid part is severed and the remainder continues to be valid.

(7) Words that are capitalized are defined as they apply in this Policy.

Guiding principles

5   (1) Subject to this Section, the maximum number of show home Building Permit applications that will be accepted is 10% of the number of lots in a residential subdivision.

(2) Despite subsection (1), where a residential subdivision contains less than 10 lots, but more than four (4) lots, one (1) show home Building Permit application may be requested and approved within the subdivision.

(3) The show home lots must be pre-identified and acceptable to the City Engineer, and the locations cannot be changed once approved.

(4) Show home permits will be given to groupings of lots in close proximity to existing paved roads and utilities, which will have the least effect on ongoing construction of works and services during show home construction.

(5) The show home lots shall have adequate domestic water supply for fire protection that meets guidelines published by the Fire Underwriters Survey or comparable provider and have direct access which is capable of supporting emergency response and vehicles.

(6) An application for a show home Building Permit will not be accepted until all underground civic services have been deemed acceptable as operational by the City Engineer. Additionally the rough lot grading for the show homes lots must be completed in accordance with the accepted lot grading plan. Grading of adjacent lots must adequately support the lots being requested for show homes. Installation of hydro, telephone, cablevision, gas mains, street lighting, curbs, asphalt, sidewalks, and final lot grading, are not required at time of show home Building Permit issuance.

(7) Acceptance of a show home Building Permit application does not mean a Building Permit will be issued.

(8) Before any show home Building Permit is issued, the subdivision developer will, in accordance with Schedule “A”, be required to enter into a letter of undertaking with the City, accepting responsibility for any damages to the works or services noted in the works and services agreement.

(9) The letter of undertaking also informs the subdivision developer that, in accordance with section 86 (c) of the Building Bylaw, 2018, sales or occupancy of the show home should not proceed before substantial completion of the subdivision works and services.

(10) The public must have access to any show home by means of a separate, level, compacted walkway located clear of all construction work or materials.

(11) The subdivision developer must take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the public.

(12) The show home Building Permit includes an expiry date, where the subdivision developer agrees to apply for a Building Permit to convert the show home to a house prior to the expiry date of the show home Building Permit.

(13) Despite subsection (1), additional show homes above the limits set out in subsections (1) and (2) may be requested and may be approved at the discretion of the Building Permit in consultation with the Fire Chief and General Manager, Planning and Development Services.

(14) The opportunity for any subdivision developer to acquire show home Building Permits is based on compliance with this Policy.


6   Where there may be environmental, geo-hazards or geo-sensitivity issues, as identified by the Professional Engineer's report for the residential subdivision, a show home Building Permit may not be accepted until the full works and services are completed.


7   None.

Related procedures, guidelines, and publications

8   The following document is related to this Policy:

(a) the City's Building Bylaw, 2018;

(b) the City's Development Bylaw, 2011;

(c) the City's Zoning Bylaw, 2014; and

(d) any other City bylaw as applicable.


Letter of Undertaking


I request the issuance of a Building Permit for the purpose of a show home to be built on lands located at


(civic address)


(legal description)

(the “Lands”)

before completion of all site works and services. I accept full responsibility for any and all damage caused to the works and services due to the construction of the home on the Lands.

I agree to construct all works and services to the standards required by the City of Abbotsford and to ensure the works and services meet the needs of this home.

I agree to accept the responsibility to ensure that all work related to the construction of this home conforms to the environmental protection aspects of the City's Building Bylaw, 2018.

I acknowledge that the works and services required for this subdivision are not yet complete, and that a Certificate of Substantial Completion for those works and services has not yet been issued by the City of Abbotsford. I therefore acknowledge and confirm that neither the Lands, nor the home constructed on the Lands, nor any interest in the Lands or house, shall be sold, leased, rented, lent, assigned, alienated, or otherwise transferred to another party before a Certificate of Substantial Completion is issued by the City of Abbotsford for the required works and services.

I acknowledge that the Building Official will not authorize occupancy for the house to be constructed on the Lands, and that the house constructed on the Lands shall not be used for any purpose other than as a display suite for the general public, or as a real estate office, before issuance by the City of Abbotsford of a Certificate of Substantial Completion. Furthermore, I acknowledge that I have been advised a Building Permit for the conversion of the show home to a new house is necessary for the occupancy of the house, upon and that any additional fees and charges may be imposed as per the City's Fees and Charges Bylaw, 2006.

I further agree with the City of Abbotsford that I will ensure that either a copy of this letter of undertaking, or a notice in a form acceptable to the City of Abbotsford containing the above noted restrictions on transfer and occupancy, will be posted in a prominent location within the home to be constructed on the Lands.





Developer/Owner Authorized Signatory (Signature):


Developer/Owner Authorized Signatory (Print Name):




City of Abbotsford Authorized Signatory (Signature):


City of Abbotsford Authorized Signatory (Print Name):



ADOPTED on 04 06, 1998 LAST REVISED on 01 31, 2019