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B.C. to develop new digital building permit tool

The B.C. government has taken steps to get more homes built with the development of a new digital building permit tool underway.

“People will soon see new homes approved faster as we make good on our commitment to position B.C. as a North American leader in digital permitting and construction,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We are excited to start work together with our partners to design and then implement this new digital building permit tool, so we can speed up the delivery of new homes and create the types of housing options people need in B.C.”

B.C. government officials said it is being developed in partnership with 16 local governments and one First Nations government.

Officials expect testing to start in March of 2024, with more communities getting access to the online service as development goes on.

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However, the initial round of testing does not include any communities in the Kootenays.

The B.C. government said many jurisdictions across the province rely on paper-based applications for new housing developments, which can lead to delays.

Officials say the new system will streamline the application process.

“Once completed, the new digital building permit tool will make it faster and simpler for builders and developers to digitally submit building permits for new housing and for local governments to receive and process the application,” said the B.C. government. “The tool will also automatically review the submission to ensure it is compliant with key parts of the BC Building Code to prevent any delays with the submission process.”

Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services said this will help build more houses faster.

“A fast, efficient permitting process is key to ensuring infrastructure projects are able to move forward in a timely manner,” said Beare. “Citizens’ Services staff are lending their expertise to help develop the new digital permitting tool which will help make this happen.”

The following communities will get access to the new online permitting tool first:

  • Tsleil-Waututh Nation
  • District of Saanich
  • City of Burnaby
  • City of Campbell River
  • City of Coquitlam
  • City of Kamloops
  • City of Kelowna
  • City of Langley
  • City of Maple Ridge
  • City of Nanaimo
  • City of North Vancouver
  • City of Surrey
  • City of Terrace
  • City of Victoria
  • City of Vancouver
  • Cowichan Valley Regional District
  • Town of Qualicum Beach
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