Online building-permits application site aims to standardize process in all B.C. jurisdictions

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says the new system is unique in North America and aims to cut wait times for builders by standardizing requirements that suffer from inconsistencies in different communities.

BURNABY — A new online hub will speed up building permit ­processes across jurisdictions, the B.C. government said Monday.

Premier David Eby said “slow and complicated” building permit processes have delayed housing development at a time when it’s urgently needed.

The digital building permit system will be a “one-stop shop” for building permits, and 12 municipalities and two First Nations governments are part of the first pilot phase of the new system; Victoria, Saanich and Nanaimo are among those in the first phase.

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said the new system is unique in North America and aims to cut wait times for builders by standardizing requirements.

Eby said builders have seen interest rates rise dramatically, and holding land while awaiting building permits creates a significant cost.

Kahlon said projects are sometimes held up for months as applications get passed around between builders and cities, while the two sides work on compliance with completion requirements.

The province said the new system addresses major compaints about the existing permits system by standardizing building-permit requirements across B.C. jurisdictions, making sure an application is complete, and checking for compliance with the B.C. Building Code’s core regulations. Local governments and First Nations will continue to review applications and issue permits.

Communities and the construction industry helped to develop the permits hub.

The province plans to eventually expand the system to all B.C. jurisdictions.

Other participants in the first phase: Burnaby, Campbell River, Kamloops, Langley, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Surrey, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Qualicum Beach, Musqueam Indian Band and Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

The new Building Permit Hub is online at It was supposed to be live on Monday, but in the evening it was only accepting applications for North Vancouver.

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