During a day scheduled to speak to local construction, business and development leaders, mayoral candidate Simon Yu unveiled his operation: Build It! plan to address city development and building permit policies and procedures that affect the viability, cost and speed of building projects.
“As a professional engineer, business owner, developer, and instructor, I’ve witnessed first-hand the regulatory burden people face when trying to get their projects moving forward,” Yu said. To address the housing and development challenges facing our community, we need to increase supply, approve projects faster, and get work underway faster without compromising quality or public safety. Whether you are renovating your existing home, building a new single-family home, or developing rental apartments, we need to serve citizens and builders faster and more efficiently. Ensuring staff on the second floor of City Hall has the resources and support to facilitate change is essential.
Operation: Build it! implies the following:
1. Permit Approval Process 2-2-2-6
- Two-Day Approval – renovation projects involving minor structural changes or a small garage under 24×24 square feet (e.g. patio, deck addition, etc.)
- Two-week approval – a residential development on a serviced building plot, or a renovation/addition project; including a large garage or shed addition
- Two-month approval – a normal commercial development, a complex renovation project or a multi-family housing project requiring substantial multidisciplinary professional involvement.
- Six-month approval – any large construction project involving a zoning deviation and modification of municipal infrastructure (eg five-storey apartments).
2. Redefine culture on the 2nd floor of City Hall
- Establish a clear operational policy stating that plan reviewers and building inspectors serve the citizens and building community of Prince George by facilitating quality plans and inspections in a timely manner. Particular care will be given to projects involving winter conditions.
- Embed a culture of empathetic, timely and informed support for all building permit applicants.
- Ensuring development is the priority supported by a positive, proactive and customer-centric attitude towards all investors, developers and entrepreneurs.
3. Added value
- Add real value to the building permit process by pursuing a “continuing professional development program for construction officers and plan reviewers” in partnership with UNBC and CNC engineering programs based on provincial best practices and national.
Six candidates are running for mayor, including Yu, Adam Hyatt, Terri McConnachie, Lisa Mitchell, Roy Stewart and Christopher S. Wood. Voters in Prince George will head to the polls on October 15.