Re-occupancy permit process

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 Note: This page describes the process only for former marijuana grow operations. For buildings that were declared unsafe for any other reason, please contact the Development and Building Services Centre directly.

Step 1: Prepare the site

  1. Deal with any pests (such as rats or mice), if applicable.
  2. Remove all materials and equipment used in connection with the grow operation.
  3. Remove any abandoned furniture or other items from inside or outside the property.

Remove mould (if applicable)

If severe mould was found when the grow operation was shut down by the police, or if the building has been declared unsafe due to a grow operation more than once, you must:

  1. Hire a contractor certified in mould remediation to remove any mould, mildew, fungus or other contamination resulting from the use of the building for a grow operation.
  2. Have all air ducts cleaned by a professional cleaner, or by a duct cleaning company if the building is heated by forced air heating.
  3. Have all carpets and curtains in the building cleaned by a professional cleaner.
  4. Hire a qualified environmental consultant to test the air quality and write a report about the test results.
  5. Provide that report to the City. If the findings are acceptable, you can move ahead with the next step.

Step 2: Identify what work needs to be done

  1. Apply for a special inspection permit. You pay for the permit when you apply for it.
  2. After you receive the permit, you can book a special inspection.
     Note: Someone can book the special inspection for you if they have a letter from you giving them permission, and if they show their photo identification.
  3. Meet the inspectors on site for the inspection. There will be four (4) inspectors present - a building inspector, electrical inspector, plumbing / gas inspector, and property use inspector.
  4. Wait for a follow-up letter outlining any problems in the building that must be fixed. The letter will arrive approximately 1 to 2 weeks after the inspection.

Step 3: Get the permits, do the repairs, and get the inspections

  1. Have the building professionally cleaned, if mould was found during the special inspection. Follow the process described in Step 1 - Remove mould.
  2. Have your contractor get the necessary permits.
  3. Have your contractor do the needed repairs. Make sure they do all work described in the follow-up letter from the special inspection.
  4. Have your contractor arrange for the necessary inspections. This may include inspections on work that did not require a permit. Once all work passes inspection, you may move on to the next step. 

Step 4: Get permission for the property to be occupied again

  1. Apply for the re-occupancy permit. How long it takes to get the permit will depend on:
    • How much work needs to be done
    • How quickly you get the necessary permits and inspections
    • Whether or not you have received the approvals and clearances you need
  2. Get a business license. This step only applies if you will be renting any part of the property. You need a business license even if you are renting part of a residential property.  
     NOTE: Do not allow people or businesses to move into the space again until the permit has been issued.

If this is the first time the property has been declared unsafe because of a grow operation, this is the final step in the permit process.

Step 5: Receive warning note on the property title (applies to repeat grow operations only)

If this is not the first time the property has been declared unsafe because of a grow operation, City Council will be asked to authorize a warning note on the property title. The warning note is intended to inform prospective buyers about the bylaw violations.

Council will discuss the matter at an open Council meeting. You will be notified about the date, time and location of the City Council meeting.

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre about building and zoning


Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground floor
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4:00pm

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon