The city is hoping to cut developer wait times with the use of a new program to streamline the issuing of building permits.
During Monday night's meeting, city council approved the first three readings of a bylaw to allow applicants proposing larger or commercial buildings to have work reviewed by certified engineers and architects, instead of waiting for city building inspectors.
These buildings, classified as Part 3 under the B.C. Building Code, include arenas, care homes, schools, jails or apartment buildings more than six storeys high.
The certified professional program is voluntary, explained director of planning Ian Wells. It would allow the building permit to be issued right away instead of going through the usual two-week turnaround time if all of the applicant's documentation is in order.
According to a city staff report, the certified professional would be required to submit detailed plan review reports to support building permit applications; recommend adequacy of building code equivalents; undertake regular inspections and report findings; and recommend to the building inspector that a building is ready for occupancy.
For developers who choose to go down the certified professional route, their building permit fee is reduced by the lesser of five per cent or $500.