With the recent trend of people looking to develop their properties, buy new properties, and make home improvements, Bowen Island Municipality is receiving almost twice as many development applications as it normally would at this time of year. This includes applications for building permits, development variance permits and development permits. This increase is resulting in longer processing times of up to four to six months.
Compared to our five-year average, development applications have surged from an average of 60 applications received during the first six months of the year, to over 100 received up to the first week of June, 2021.
We have increased staff hours to process development applications, but due to budget constraints, cannot hire additional staff to meet the demand for the volume of applications that are coming in. We have, however, applied for a $75,000 grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities under the Local Government Development Approvals grant program. We are hopeful that if successful, the grant will allow us to update the Municipality’s permit processing software to increase efficiency by allowing completely digital applications and permit processing.
“If you’re considering new development or an upgrade to your property, please keep in mind that there will be longer than usual wait times.” said Gary Ander, Mayor, “The deliberate, informed and thoughtful work of authorizing development cannot be rushed or bypassed. We appreciate your understanding and patience.”
We remind everyone that moving ahead on development without the appropriate permits can cause serious additional delays, have a financial impact on property owners, and can disrupt fragile ecosystems.