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Building and development permits 101 with the City of Saint John

If you’re a property owner looking to take on a renovation project this summer, you might be wondering whether or not you need a permit to take on the work. The City of Saint John is here to help you answer that question and navigate the process.

For residential properties, a building or development permit is required for projects including:

  • Decks that are more than two feet off the ground
  • A garage, shed, or gazebo that is larger than 10 square metres
  • A pool that is deeper than one metre
  • Adding new siding to your property
  • Adding a new room, windows, or new doors
  • Finishing a basement

If your property is in one of the City of Saint John’s Heritage Conservation Areas, a heritage permit has to be obtained before beginning any project on the exterior of the building. However, there are exceptions, including:

  • Painting with colours previously approved by a heritage officer
  • Replacing flat-roof roofing material (does not include replacing gable or mansard roofing)
  • Landscaping (does not include alteration, construction, or removal of fences)
  • General maintenance, such as washing/cleaning exterior

To apply for a heritage permit, click here.

To apply for a permit, visit the One Stop Development Shop, located on the first floor of City Hall. There are a variety of forms available on our website.  If you are unsure if a permit is required for your planned project, staff is happy to help you – call us at 506-658-4455 or email for more information.

Getting the proper permits ensures that your project meets the health and safety requirements set out by the National Building Code of Canada and makes sure that your project is in line with other municipal requirements, such as heritage and zoning regulations.

Anyone can apply for a building or development permit for a property; however, the owner is responsible to ensure the work is completed as per the approved permit.