Why Every Building Permit Issued on Salt Spring Costs YOU, the Taxpayer, After-Tax Dollars…

Did you know that every building permit issued on Salt Spring costs YOU, the taxpayer, hard earned, after tax dollars?

Did you know that the reason for that is because two bureacrats arbitrarily took it upon themselves to change unwritten policy?

I’m guessing you are among the vast majority of Salt Spring Islanders who didn’t know.

Here’s how this happened.

Prior to a few years ago, when a property owner submitted a building permit to CRD Building Inspection, the application fee they paid was calculated to cover, on average, the cost of the review and issuance of the permit, and, inspections necessary to obtain final occupancy.

If the permit application was for a property that was not in a Development Permit Area, as any building inspector could find out in less than 5 minutes, then the permit review process would simply proceed.

Then, a few years ago, a change was implemented by the now retired, Chief CRD Building Inspector, with agreement by the Chief Administrative Officer of the Islands Trust.

They arbitrarily, and, without consulting our elected Islands Trustees and CRD Director, changed the unwritten policy so that a building permit application must now be submitted to, and approved by, the Islands Trust PRIOR to being able to submit it to the CRD for review.

When I asked, at a public meeting, Trustee Peter Grove, and CRD Director, Gary Holman, how/why this change had occurred, BOTH of them were unaware of the change. Read that again…BOTH of them were unaware of the change…

As a property owner, what the existing process means, to YOU, is this – because there is no fee charged by Islands Trust to review the building permit, the Staff time spent on the review is paid by you, the taxpayer, not the applicant.

In other words, the unwritten policy change, made by two bureaucrats, not only costs taxpayers more, it means there is also a time delay in the processing of the building permit application.

And, to top it off, the building permit “referrals” are added to the reported workload of the Islands Trust Staff, and now account for about 70% of the applications….as shown in this 2021 Islands Trust report:

Its time to put an end to this unwritten policy. The Trust is already working at an astoundingly low, self-admitted, 7.3% efficiency…costing taxpayers, OVER $2 MILLION PER YEAR, which would have any private company declaring bankruptcy.

On October 15th, use your power as a voter to elect the three people who promise to make the necessary changes.

PS – The 10 year average of Building Permit, Siting and Use Permit, Crown Land and Other Referrals, from 2010 – 2019, was 76.5, compared to 2021’s 188, a 245% increase!

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