A Nanoose Bay resident raised concerns to the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) about what he said are unacceptable wait times for building permit application processing.
“We are in a housing crisis and the RDN can help,” Mark Jones said in a delegation to the RDN Electoral Area Services Committee on July 8. He said he believes the best way to remedy the crisis is by building more units.
Jones is building two homes on his acreage in Nanoose and applied for permit in February — he was dissatisfied with how long it took to hear anything from the RDN.
“It doesn’t need to be this way. It shouldn’t take as long to get a permit as it does to build an entire house,” he said. “The RDN needs to acknowledge that building permits aren’t just stacks of paper on a desk — they are roofs over people’s heads and that’s what the community needs right now.”
Jones asked the committee to acknowledge the housing crisis and that the current wait times for building permits are unacceptable. He also wanted to see an action plan to see the RDN work through the backlog of permits and speed up in the future.
“Every resident of the RDN has the right to housing and shelter is a basic human need, it’s time for the RDN board to step up and provide resources to meet the demand, no different than any other essential service.”
RDN staff said new two positions were filled for building officials, which should reduce wait times once they are trained. In the mean time though, the training could have a negative impact because it will require the attention of senior building officials.
No motion was carried at the committee meeting, but directors discussed a plan to work together to come up with a notice of motion to address the issue.