City Hall cutting red tape to process building permits faster than ever

Last updated: November 2, 2023

A new process for residential single and two-family dwelling building permits at Burnaby City Hall has drastically reduced wait times for applicants, as the City of Burnaby continues to overhaul its development approvals processes to better serve residents and businesses.

Since introducing the new process this spring, permit wait times for new homes have been reduced by up to 85% and the application backlog has been reduced by 67%. The backlog is anticipated to be eliminated by the end of the year.

Builders have shared positive feedback with City staff about the new system. 

The new process “worked a lot faster,” said Monika Amini, owner of Burnaby-based AminiDesigns. “Clients are happy and surprised—it used to take six months.”  Ms. Amini recently submitted three permit applications for new homes, with the fastest one processed in just 39 days.

Cutting red tape is an important part of how the City is working to bring new homes and jobs to Burnaby and support businesses. Last year, more than $2.5 billion worth of building permits were processed at Burnaby City Hall. As applications surge in volume and complexity, the City’s Development Approvals Process (DAP) program will ensure everyone applying for a permit receives clear, prompt and convenient service.

“If you’re a local home builder or a mom-and-pop shop needing a few renos, you don’t want to spend your time figuring out City rules then waiting months for your permit to be approved,” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “Burnaby’s DAP program is about cutting red tape and making approvals faster, simpler and better.”

The City recently engaged a consultant to review its development approvals processes and is now rolling out 18 recommendations to improve customer experience, transparency and efficiency.

More ways Burnaby is making it easier to do business

On September 1, Burnaby launched the Certified Professional (CP) program, an alternative building permit process whereby a certified professional undertakes the building review and construction monitoring role on behalf of the City. The individual must be recognized as a certified professional by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia or Engineers and Geoscientists BC.

Burnaby has also launched several technical enhancements to speed up permitting processes.  Applicants can now apply for 24 new permit types online (My Permits Portal), saving customers a trip to City Hall, time, and paper. Inspections for residential electrical, plumbing and gas permits can also be booked online.  

Burnaby is also streamlining approvals for multi-family and other complex projects, with 29 “quick wins” already implemented, pending the City’s full transition to a completely refreshed process, including a new development permit system, that strives to reduce processing times by over 60%.

“And it doesn’t stop there. Burnaby is committed to cutting red tape,” added Mayor Hurley. “We are going to continuously improve the customer experience. We want to make it easy for you to build your home, open and run your business. We want to give you certainty on permitting times.”

Learn More:

Media Contact:

Chris Bryan
Manager, Public Affairs
Public Affairs Office
604-570-3616 | [email protected]

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