Building permit revenues soar in resort municipality

By Jim Brown
 
Look up, look way up.
The Resort Municipality of Cavendish had budgeted for $2,000 in revenues from building permits this year. But the revenues were more than three times that, at $6,491.24. And there is still two months left in the fiscal year, ending March 31.
“It was obviously an underestimate,” said Mayor Matthew Jelley, at a public information meeting on Feb 24
to gather input on the resort municipality’s operating budget, capital budget and five-year capital expenditure program.
Mayor Jelley suggested part of the reason for the sharp rise was developers trying “to get ahead” of looming national building code changes which will increase the costs of construction.
“There are two factors that led to the number of building permits (going up). One is the feeling that people are trying to get ahead of the building code, and second, the province is in a period of unprecedented building construction and the resort municipality is part of that,” he said.
“The national building code, generally, makes the requirement for architect and engineer stamped drawings more explicit and will expand it out to properties that currently aren’t covered by the Architect’s Act and the Engineering Professions Act. For the most part there are increased requirements under the National Building Code for energy efficiency…”
Projects must be built to take into account a changing and more hostile climate, featuring more and fiercer storms and a greater risk of flooding and other natural disasters.
Commercial projects must include architect’s drawings and because of that, whether they are built before the national building code’s changes are implemented or after, must still reflect those anticipated changes.
For residential developments, up to a certain size, architect’s drawings are not required and therefore “builders can build to their own best practices, which may not be strictly to the building code,” said Mayor Jelley.