Municipal Process Updates

City of Victoria - Latest update April 28

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The City of Victoria is working to keep development applications moving, while continuing to provide transparency and allowing the public to continue to engage in the process.  They have significantly expanded their use of on-line communications over the past weeks and have adjusted to a new way of working.

  • many City departments, including Legislative Services, IT, Engagement, Legal Services and Sustainable Planning & Community Development, are working through alternative ways for the public to engage with Council, including considerations on revising their processes to continue to meet the requirements under Victoria’s Land Use Procedures Bylaw and the Local Government Act.
  • Council supported the recommendations in the report Heritage Advisory Panel and Advisory Design Panel Referrals During the COVID-19 Pandemic, and authorized meetings of these advisory panels to resume and to be conducted electronically.
  • In response to the provincial government making construction an essential service and UDI’s request regarding Noise Bylaw exemptions (for construction to be permitted between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until May 31, 2020), the City of Victoria has made some changes to their process.   They City has explored alternative ways to support construction activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. In short:
    • Application for exemption from the Noise Bylaw for construction hours must still be made to the Chief Building Inspector; however, staff will implement a simplified application process to facilitate quick turnarounds on applications.
    • It will be requested that applicants use the extended hours for interior trades such as painters, drywallers, electricians and plumbers, and that heavy machinery be avoided during these hours.
    • Under Section 20(7), the Mayor has reduced the mandatory time line for applications for exemptions from the Noise Bylaw for construction activity from 10 business days to one business day during the state of emergency.
  • We are also continuing to meet on enquiries remotely, accept and process all types of applications, and issue applications that don’t require a public hearings (statutory or non-statutory).

 

PREVIOUS UPDATES:

Friday, March 27, 2020

Planning –

Effective Immediately the City of Victoria is implementing the following to their development permit applications:

Inspections / Permits –

Effective Immediately the City of Victoria is implementing the following to their building permit applications and inspections:

 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Planning –

  • To protect the public and City staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, City Council has adopted amendments to its Council Procedures Bylaw to adjust the way Council meetings are conducted
  • Based on recommendations by public health officials, Council suspended the holding of public hearings in accordance with the Class Order on COVID-19 from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer until further notice. Council also suspended the question period sections of Council meeting agendas for in-person participation.
  • Requests to address Council will be limited to six delegations through either telephone participation, where possible, and the reading out of submissions and/or broadcasting of recorded submissions, if necessary.
  • Council will review these temporary measures by April 16.

Inspections / Permits –

  • The city of Victoria are still accepting permit applications and conducting inspections as requested
  • Inspections are carried out where the City is unable to rely on professionals or declarations in the case of electrical or plumbing permits
  • Business as usual essentially at this point, but the City relies on professionals and declarations to limit contact with individuals in the community

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Planning –

  • Effective immediately the City of Victoria has postponed all Public Hearings until further notice
  • Applications will still be processed – and any conditions from previous Public Hearings will still be worked on
  • Once the COVID-19 lockdown is over City Council will hold back-to-back Public Hearings until the backlog is taken care of.
  • Staff are still meeting with people on an appointment only basis

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Planning –

  • City Hall is closed to the public but staff are working as usual
    • Business as usual until further notice
    • If the public would like to see a staff member they can do so by appointment – call or email to book and appointment
  • Committee of the Whole meeting tomorrow (March 18) will take place – with City Hall closed to the public staff recommend that the public to watch online – click here for link to page
  • As of today Public Hearings will be conducted as usual – this may change in the coming days
    • Legislative services is looking into live stream conferencing for meeting such as Public Hearings and other meetings – further updates will follow
  • Staff are working to ensure that the development process carries on as usual
  • Development applications will be accepted even if a CALUC meeting is not able to take place – the CALUC meeting can be done at a later date
    • Staff are hopeful to have no barriers to development moving forward
  • Questions can be directed to Development Services 250.361.0382

Inspections / Permits –

  • Inspections and permits are carrying on with business as usual – with City Hall closed to the public call or email to book an appointment to meet with a staff member – this is specific to permit application only
  • Technical issues – interpretation / code inquiries can be done by phone call or email
  • The public must book an appointment to pick up a permit
  • Inspections are still taking place – email or call to make an appointment
  • To book an appointment call 250.361.0344
District of Saanich - Latest Update April 6

Extension of Construction Hours
Late last week, UDI Capital Region reached out to the municipalities in the CRD regarding extending their hours of operation to allow for construction sites to have their trades work in shifts to accommodate for respectful social distancing on the job.  Below is an exurb from Saanich’s Noise Suppression Bylaw that allows for these extended hours – 7am to 9pm.
The erection, demolition, construction, reconstruction, altering or repairing of any building or other structure, or the excavation for such building or structure, provided a valid building permit has been obtained, or the excavating of any street, highway or lane between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on each day except Sunday, or in the case of urgent necessity, at any other time during the week if such work is essential to the health, safety or protection of the public.

Previous Updates:

Planning

  • Upon Council’s approval Saanich has canceled all scheduled Public Hearings and no scheduling of Public Hearings will take place until further notice
    • All scheduled Advisory Committee, Standing Committee, Board, Foundation and Commissions meetings have been canceled as well until further notice – with the exception of the Standing Committee on Finance and Governance
  • Saanich Planning Department is striving for business as usual but without face-to-face meeting to minimize direct contact
    • Staff will meet via phone call or take email inquiries
    • Applications, plans etc that are being brought in are to be dropped off at the Planning counter
      • Plans will be reviewed follow up will be done by phone call
    • Staff will do their best to keep the applications moving

Inspections / Permits

  • Inspections are being viewed as an Essential Service
    • Inspectors are still attending site visits but require it to be done with as little contact with other people as possible
      • Inspectors will do the inspection on their own and then will call with comments after
      • In the coming days inspectors may look at electronic inspections via skype, Facetime etc.
  • Permits are being accepted electronically – the application fee will be collected when the permit is issued
    • Applications will be viewed and deficiencies will be responded to via email
    • To issue a permit staff will meet the applicant in the front hall where both application and permit fees will be collected upon delivery of permit
  • Bylaw officers are still performing inspections but just to outside areas – they will not be entering buildings at this time
Township of Esquimalt - Latest Update April 6

Extension of Construction Hours
On April 6th at The Township of Esquimalt’s Council meeting Council directed staff to respond to the letter UDI sent to the Capital Region municipalities asking for an extension of construction hours to allow development sites to conduct shifts for their trades to ensure workers were able maintain physical distancing measures set out by the Federal government.  In the letter sent to UDI, Esquimalt advised that there is flexibility for construction hours as long as their noise bylaw was upheld.

As a community, following the government and health official’s direction will ensure that we emerge from this crisis safe and healthy.

PREVIOUS UPDATES:

Planning

  • Esquimalt will continue to accept development applications over the counter until Friday, March 20 at 4:30 p.m. however, as much as possible, applications should be submitted digitally
    • starting on Monday, March 23, 2020 morning, there will be no public access to the Municipal Hall
    • Where it is absolutely necessary to meet with staff in person, arrangements can be made by calling 250.414.7100
  • It is likely that the April 8 meeting of the Design Review Committee will be postponed
  • A decision has not yet been made with regard to the April 21 meeting of the Advisory Planning Commission
  • No public hearings will be scheduled at this time
  • Esquimalt will continue to process all development applications received to date

Building Permits / Inspections –

  • currently Esquimalt is operating in as close to a virtual environment as they can get… so, that means Building Permits can still be obtained, however, where possible, applications are to be sent electronically
  • If there is an absolute need to meet in person to discuss, as of Monday March, 23, the Township will be closed to the general public and only persons with appointments will be allowed access to the building
    • To obtain appointments, call 250-414-7100.  For general inquiries, people can continue to call the building department as before
  • Inspections are still being conducted on a case by case basis, and in all instances, the building inspector is arranging to inspect vacant buildings only at the time.  (those buildings that are newly constructed, and for renovations with the occupants out of the building during the inspection)
  • The process for arranging an inspection remains unchanged at this time
City of Langford - Latest Update March 25

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Inspections/Permits –

  • Langford’s process generally remains the same for requesting inspections – by phone (250.474.6692) or email only
  • Site inspections for small buildings, we request that the site be vacated during our staff present on site if possible, while the inspection is being done. We would appreciate that within your site you have posted  to disclosed some protocol to verify safe site practices have been implemented for your workers as well
  • If vacating the site is not reasonable then all workers and public shall maintain social distancing at all times, and prefer not to be in the building at the inspection review time. If communication is required at time of inspection, we are available based on proper protocol.
  • Larger projects, we appreciate the number of trades on site that are required to maintain the work required, and also recognize that the project has Professional involvement therefore our presence is secondary therefore Field Reviews from the Professionals are requested to verify substantial design and code compliance to the scope of work to date the project is in.
  • If the City is to attend the site we shall request a copy of the site protocol for maintaining safe health requirements.
  • We will continue to assess as this issue develops in relation to the protection of all and to how we may maintain City Service from the Building Department.
Town of View Royal - Latest Update March 23

Monday, March 23, 2020

Planning –

  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020, View Royal Town Hall will be closed to the public until further notice.
  • Most transactions and inquires can be managed by phone or video conferencing and we have those tools available to address inquiries.  Face to face meetings are a last resort as we are not able to meet social distancing objectives in face to face meetings.  Staff remain available by email and phone – planning@viewroyal.ca or 250.708.2254
  • View Royal Council has decided at this time to hold only one Council meeting, instead of two, each month
    • Regularly scheduled Council meetings set for the first Tuesday of each month will not be held – Council meetings set for the third Tuesday of each month will proceed
  • Regularly scheduled Committee of the Whole meetings set for the second Tuesday of each month will proceed
  • View Royal’s Advisory Committee meetings have been cancelled for an indefinite period of time

To see updates for Metro Vancouver municipalities, visit the UDI Pacific Region website here.