The Regional District of Nanaimo has received a $457,000 grant funding that will improve its development application processing, which some developers have deemed too slow.
The Local Government Development Approvals Program approved the grant to upgrade the RDN’s technology to make the application process more efficient. It will enable the RDN to better serve residents and businesses seeking building and development approvals, from the pre-application phase to the issuance of the permit, from the planning, building, bylaw and engineering departments.
“We understand the need for individuals and businesses alike to receive a timely response to their applications and inquiries,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair. “The grant enables the RDN to conduct a strategic needs assessment to find the best technological solution to respond to the hundreds of applications received each year. The assessment phase of the project will ensure priorities identified by the public are addressed while also confirming technical and implementation requirements can be met.”
The project will commence in November 2021 and is anticipated to be completed by early 2023.
Development varies widely across urban and rural areas, from single-family homes and multi-story residential buildings to industrial sites and commercial developments.
The RDN processes more than 700 building permits, zoning amendments, development permits and subdivision applications annually. The number of complex development applications and inquiries is increasing, further highlighting the need for an improved application and review process.
As part of the technical requirements, the RDN will seek a system that can assist in improving the efficiency of the development approval process and allow the public to submit applications and review the status of their applications online at any time. In addition to these process efficiencies, the move to electronic records will also improve cost efficiencies as the need to store high volumes of paper records will diminish over time.
— NEWS Staff, submitted