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Langley City goes digital for building permits in pilot program

Province announced pilot communities at UBCM
Langley City Mayor Nathan Pachal said the City will be part of a provincial pilot program as municipalities transition to digital building permits. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley City will be moving to a fully digital system for building permits as part of a provincial pilot project, Mayor Nathan Pachal said Thursday, Sept. 21.

The City’s involvement in the project was announced during the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) conference taking place in Vancouver.

“That’s very exciting,” said Pachal.

Currently, building permits require a significant amount of paperwork, and in many municipalities, it remains in the form of actual paper.

“Today there’s a lot of paper, or PDFs,” said Pachal.

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Going digital could mean something as simple as an online portal that allows developers to submit their documents and information.

It could also allow those builders to check up on the status of their application online, Pachal said.

Going forward, he hoped it would lead to more digital innovation for new construction.

The program to get B.C.’s municipalities on digital permitting systems was announced in April by Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon, who said it was aimed at speeding up the home building process.

“Faster approvals and builds will unlock more homes for British Columbians sooner, easing some of the pressure on our strained housing market,” Kahlon said.

Among other innovations, the original April announcement noted that the B.C. Building Code was then only available in print or PDF versions. A new digitally-enhanced version of the code would make it faster and easier for builders and building inspectors to understand and interpret the Code’s rules, the province promised.

The City of Vancouver has already moved to a fully-digital building permit system, called ePlan, which allows builders to apply, pay, and receive their permits electronically.

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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