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Delta, province striving to streamline

The changes include standardizing building-permit submission requirements across jurisdictions in B.C.
The Building Permit Hub will scale up to include more types of housing, the province announced. Sandor Gyarmati photo

The B.C. government this week announced a new digital Building Permit Hub aimed at helping to streamline and standardize local permitting processes.

“The permitting process can be slow and complicated, delaying the construction of homes we urgently need,” said Premier David Eby in a news release.

“Together, we’ve made progress cutting provincial and municipal permitting times, but we have to keep going. This new one-stop shop for local building permits will reduce red tape for homebuilders, local governments and First Nations, and ultimately save money, speed up construction and help people get into homes faster,” he said.

The province says it is digitizing local permit processes with the Building Permit Hub to make it easier and faster for homeowners and industry professionals to submit applications to local governments and First Nations.

“We are exploring new ways to speed up the delivery of homes for people in B.C.,” said Delta North MLA and Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon. “The Building Permit Hub will make the permitting process smoother for builders and local and First Nations governments, ensuring homes are built quicker without unnecessary delays. This is one of many actions we are taking in our Homes for People action plan.”

The government also said its work to cut provincial permitting times is showing results. Provincial permits are being processed faster and backlogs are being cleared with permits being processed faster than they are coming in.

The City of Delta has already been working to streamline its application process, including going digital.

In 2021, Delta received a $500,000 grant from the province as part of the Development Approvals Process Review (DAPR) initiative. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs introduced DAPR two years earlier to support local governments in improving development and construction approval processes and timelines, and in accelerating the construction of homes.

Since then, several projects got underway including Delta expanding its digital application platform, improving digital tracking and triaging of applications, implementing enhancements within the Application Centre, as well as amending regulatory bylaws and development processes.

Among the other streamlining initiatives having been undertaken by the city has been staffing resources in the engineering department reallocated to create a new development-focused team to centralize referrals, resulting in improved development application review times.

Council this year approved more changes to support the city’s goal of increasing the number of development applications being processed every month with an updated Subdivision and Development Standards Bylaw.

It is aimed at further increasing review efficiency and decreasing processing times, substantive changes that the engineering department notes will address concerns from the development community and support the secondary suites program.