B.C. promises “one-stop shop” permit approvals
January 27, 2023
British Columbia unveiled a “one-stop shop” approach to provincial permitting to help speed up construction of new homes in the face of a housing crisis.
“Today we are taking action to remove obstacles to building the homes that we need,” Premier David Eby said in a January 16 announcement in Vancouver.
Homebuilding in B.C. can require multiple provincial permit applications involving different ministries and processes—including permits related to riparian area approvals, water licences, transportation approvals, road rezonings, contaminated sites, and requirements for heritage inspections.
The average approval time is two years “and obviously our goal was to improve on that,” said Eby following the announcement. “The goal is to reduce [approval time] dramatically”—from years to months.
The permitting strategy will be streamlined, potentially eliminating the need for multiple applications across ministries, says the province.
“This is more than just a single place to drop off your application,” Eby said. “Our goal is an expedited process where information doesn’t have to be resubmitted, reconsidered and redetermined by multiple decision-makers throughout the process.”
Eby said B.C. municipalities have in the past cited long wait times for provincial approvals to get projects built and now the province is doing its part.