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'Faster, simpler and better': Burnaby wins award for most-improved permit processing

'This award is the latest milestone in our efforts to make it easier to build the projects we need in Burnaby,' said Mayor Mike Hurley.
Towers under construction in Brentwood, Burnaby.

The City of Burnaby's work to make it easier for developers to get permits has been honoured by a commercial real estate advocacy group as "most improved."

NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, awarded the city with "Most Improved Approval Timing" in recognition of the city's focus last year to make the development and building process more efficient.

NAIOP said Burnaby's permit timing was reduced by 33 per cent from 2021 to 2023.

The city says the improvements include launching a new process for single- and two-family home building permits that has reduced wait times by up to 85 per cent, as well as:

  • the launch of a new online application services platform
  • the launch of the city's new Certified Professional (CP) program which allows qualified private-sector professionals hired by the developer to supplement city staff's reviews of design documents
  • streamlining approval process for multi-family developments and other complex projects

"This award is the latest milestone in our efforts to make it easier to build the projects we need in Burnaby," said Mayor Mike Hurley in a press release.

Hurley told NAIOP the changes have created a "faster, simpler and better experience for applicants."

And the city says it's just getting started when it comes to reducing processing times.

This year's priority projects include:

  • transitioning to a new development permit system for major projects, aiming to reduce processing times by more than 60 per cent
  • streamlining application processes for residential and commercial buildings
  • further technical enhancements to speed up permitting processes

Last year, Burnaby won NAIOP's honour as Metro Vancouver's "Most Business-Friendly municipality."