Development and Building Permits are vital if you are planning a custom home design in Vancouver, or any City really.
In the past, we have discussed many aspects of Development and Building Permits and the permitting process. We have never, however, focused solely on how long it can take to get a Building Permit approved. Today, we are remedying that by having this frank discussion about how long the Building Permit process takes in the City of Vancouver.
How long it takes to get a building permit in Vancouver
Flat out, it takes a long time to get a Development or Building Permit in the City of Vancouver.
There are many different types of Building Permits depending on what you are trying to do.
For a simple Building Permit, it can take at least eight weeks and often more.
For a complex Building Permit where a Development Permit is also needed then it could be up to eight months.
Add an additional 10 months, at least, if your home needs to be rezoned as well.
Developers have it even tougher, with Permits taking up to two years to be approved.
How does all this stack up to other cities?
The Building Permit process in Vancouver is longer than any other major Canadian city. Similarly, the process is longer than other cities in the Lower Mainland. In fact, it takes up to three times longer to get a building permit in Vancouver as it does in Burnaby.
Why is this the case? In all likelihood, “red tape” is behind the increased time. The Building Permit process in Vancouver is more complex than other cities, bogging down the system. With approvals coming slowly, the system is almost always backlogged too.
For example if you want to renovate a house in Vancouver you have to go through the Housing Renovation Centre (HRC) to determine if it is a minor or major renovation. This will add weeks just to have the Permit Package reviewed, if the project is determined to be a major renovation then you have to wait even more weeks to get your appointment to submit the application to the HRC, then you will have to wait in queue, often months, for the application to be reviewed by all of the various departments and then it is either approved or feedback is given for how to satisfy any missing requirements.
The impact the current Development and Building Permit process is having on Vancouver
So what does all this mean for Vancouver – and you? Overall, the length of time for Building Permits and Development Permits in Vancouver may have added to the cost of building units, driving prices through the roof.
Hopefully this will change soon though, as the government has promised to clear up some of the red tape around Permits.
These changes, however, will likely not be in place in time for your custom home. That means you have to deal with the current length of time to receive a Building Permit in Vancouver. Given this, it is important to apply for your Permits well in advance of when you want to begin construction on your custom home.
When we say “in advance”, we mean at least a year ahead of when you want to begin building! This way, you will not end up in a position where you do not have your Permits in place when construction is due to begin.