Planning on building a new home? What you need to know if you are considering rock blasting.

by Dan Machon, BCLS.

While the City and District of North Vancouver have no restrictions when it comes to rock blasting, the District of West Vancouver has a bylaw to restrict or limit the amount of rock blasting that can occur for a home. Knowing the applicable restrictions during the planning stage can prevent time delays, additional expense and disappointment down the road.

What are the restrictions?

Applies to any property in West Vancouver that requires rock blasting to build a new home and/or driveway.

The amount of rock allowed to be blasted is restricted by the footprint area of your new home. The larger the footprint area, the more rock that can be removed. However, zoning bylaws, floor space ratios, and restrictive covenants can all restrict the size of your new home. On a new home with extensive rock, you may only be able to excavate half of your basement due to the restrictions!

Blasting rock to build a swimming pool is prohibited in West Vancouver.

How can I make a wise decision?

Consult a local Geotechnical Engineer, Architect or Land Surveyor who has knowledge and experience dealing with rock blasting issues.

Work with a local home builder who works in the area as they may be aware of areas where rock is prevalent.

Consult local municipal staff as they will be able to help you research where prior rock blasting permits have been issued.

West Vancouver has a unique natural beauty of waterfront, trees and mountainside topography. That is why we all live here! Along with this beauty come issues which you should consider before purchasing that perfect lot. If you find that dream piece of property that could be affected by the rock blasting bylaw, please consult a local professional to help you make a wise decision.

Originally posted here.