Progress Being Made on Residential Building Permit Process

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 – The District is working hard to address a backlog of residential building permits with forty applications approved in the last three weeks alone.

The District is reviewing all aspects of its Development Approval Process to better support residents with projects such as home renovations and is using the surplus revenues from building permit fees along with a provincial grant to do so.

At the February 14, 2022 Regular Council Meeting, Council approved the use of the surplus fees to hire a Building Inspector to assist with clearing the existing backlog while the systematic review and integration of new software are implemented.

Progress being made
For the week ending February 28th, twelve applications were approved and five new applications were received.

For the week ending March 7th, thirteen applications were approved and seven new applications were received.

For the week ending March 11th, fifteen applications were approved and four new applications were received.

Currently, forty applications are in the queue; seventeen are in progress, meaning we have received all information needed to proceed with the referral process (where other departmental expertise is needed to review the file); eighteen are on hold, meaning additional information is required for technical review before an application can be approved (notably, this is undertaken simultaneously to the referral process) and; five have been received, meaning the administrative review and system input is underway to determine if there are any outstanding items before the file can proceed to the referral stage.

What’s next
“We’re making huge headway,” shared CAO Norm McInnis. “We are also taking a closer look at administrative requirements including building codes and our own building bylaw to improve operational practices in the short term. These changes will be combined with enhanced technology as a longer-term solution.”

The District of Sooke is one of forty-three local governments throughout British Columbia to receive a Local Government Development Approvals Program grant to create more efficient development approvals processes. The district is using this grant to streamline local regulations, reduce processing times and enhance services through a new online portal. The reporting period for the grant is Fall 2023.

Learn more

Related The District of Sooke is updating Development Cost Charges (DCCs) for transportation and sanitary services and establishing new DCCs for drainage and parkland acquisition and improvement. The District has consulted with the Building and Development Community in its review, Council has given three readings to the updated DCC Bylaw, and the District is awaiting provincial approval before returning to Council for adoption. Final rates and adoption of the DCC Bylaw are anticipated later this year. View the draft project list to be funded with DCCs here


District of Sooke Reception
Tel: 250.642.1634

Media Contact:
Christina Moog, Communicators Coordinator
Tel: 250.642.1634, ext. 678