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Mayoral candidate Yu unveils plan to revamp building permit process

Simon Yu

On a day set to speak to local construction, business, and development leaders, mayoral candidate Simon Yu unveiled his Operation: Build It! plan to address city development and building permitting policies and procedures that affect the viability, cost, and timeliness of construction projects.

“As a professional engineer, business owner, developer and instructor, I have witnessed first hand the regulatory burden that people confront when trying to advance their projects,” said Yu. “To address the housing and development challenges facing our community, we must increase supply, approving projects faster, and getting shovels in the ground quicker without compromising quality or public safety. Whether you are renovating your existing home, building a new single-family home, or developing rental apartment units, we must serve citizens and builders more quickly and effectively. It is critical to ensure that staff located on the second floor of City Hall have the resources and support required to facilitate change.”

Operation: Build It! entails the following:

1. 2-2-2-6 Permit Approval Process

  • Two-day approval – renovation projects involving minor structural alterations, or a small garage less than 24×24 square feet (eg. A Patio, a deck addition etc.)
  • Two-week approval – a housing development on a serviced building lot, or a renovation/addition project; including a large garage or a carriage house addition
  • Two-month approval – a normal commercial development, a complex renovation project or a multi family housing project with the need of substantial multi discipline professional involvement.
  • Six-month approval – any large building project involving zoning variance and civic infrastructure alteration (eg. five-storey apartments).

2. Redefining Culture on 2nd Floor of City Hall

  • Instilling a clear operational policy outlining that plan checkers and building inspectors serve Prince George’s citizens and building community by expeditiously facilitating quality plans and inspections. Particular care will be paid to any projects involving winter conditions.
  • Embedding a culture of empathetic, timely, and informed assistance for all building permit applicants.
  • Ensuring development is the priority backed up with a positive, proactive, customer-centre attitude towards all investors, developers, and contractors.

3. Value added

  • Add real value to the building permit process by pursuing a “continuous building officers and plan checkers professional development program” in partnership with UNBC and CNC engineering programs based on provincial and national best-practices.

Six candidates are running for mayor including Yu, Adam Hyatt, Terri McConnachie, Lisa Mitchell, Roy Stewart, and Christopher S. Wood. Prince George voters go to the polls October 15.

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