A review of Nanaimo’s building permit process could lead to changes in how quickly development applications are approved. (News Bulletin file photo)

A review of Nanaimo’s building permit process could lead to changes in how quickly development applications are approved. (News Bulletin file photo)

Review could speed up Nanaimo’s building permit application process

Building permit function review starts in October, with report expected in January

The outcome of a review could bring changes to how the city issues building permits and speed up the process.

City staff gave a report at a council meeting Monday outlining a building permit function review, which starts this month.

“Through this we want to highlight how challenging the work is and I’m sure you’re all well aware of the volume of work that has been happening in that area,” said Jeremy Holm, director of development approvals, in his report to council.

Holm said the work of issuing building permits is continually evolving and is affected by external factors that include changes in legislation, building codes and qualifications of building officials, which staff must adjust to and train for to meet those requirements on top of the overall increasing volume of development in Nanaimo. Staff also adjust processes and procedures in the department regularly to meet to external influences that impact development approvals, which most recently include shifting the building permit approval process to online to meet COVID-19 protocols.

“Those shifts and changes are obviously challenging for our staff, as well as applicants, to adjust to at times and there can be impacts to efficiency and timeliness of permit application approvals,” Holm said.

He said depending on the volume of development applications and the complexity of the projects with revisions, reviews and other factors that can be involved, it takes about four to six months for approvals to be completed on large projects.

To determine how the building permit approval can be made more efficient and faster, the department has hired Nielsen Strategies Inc., which recently completed a similar review for another municipality, to assist in Nanaimo’s building permit function review.

The project will review the current city building permit process, compare Nanaimo’s approval process with other municipalities, include interviews with building industry representatives, business owners and homeowners who have applied for building permits and consult with various levels of city staff. The review is scheduled to be completed in January so it can be brought to a governance and priorities committee meeting.

READ ALSO: News Bulletin’s coverage of development in and around Nanaimo

Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The 21st annual Japanese Cultural Fair streams online Oct. 24 from noon to 3 p.m. (Facebook/Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society)
Esquimalt’s Japanese Cultural Fair takes tastes, experiences and cultures online

21st annual free event streams Saturday, Oct. 24 starting at noon

Kwick’kanum (Eric Pelkey), a hereditary chief of the Tsawout Nation, addressed the crowd that gathered at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights

Supporters call on government to recognize Indigenous treaty rights

The Baynes Sound Connector cable ferry. Black Press file photo
Baynes Sound Connector delayed due to emergency call

Paddleboarder was in distress near Union Bay Thursday

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read