Skip to content

EDITORIAL: Delays in Sooke building permits require urgent action

Time to rethink and transform existing systems to strengthen them against potential future obstacles

Sooke residents find themselves entangled in a disheartening saga, adding another layer of complexity to the already arduous journey of building new homes.

The backlog in issuing building permits and occupancy certificates is causing frustration for homeowners and builders, with delays of up to three months.

The root of this issue is a highly demanding housing market, worsened by a dwindling inventory and a shortage of inspectors in recent weeks.

The repercussions are severe, causing delays to projects, hindering development, and leaving homeowners uncertain about when their properties will be ready for occupation.

The District of Sooke acknowledges the urgent need for action regarding this issue. Currently, the workload of a team of three inspectors falls on only one part-time inspector, leaving the system fragile and susceptible to disruptions caused by unexpected absences. The district is trying to address the crisis by recruiting new staff and seeking additional contracted service providers.

Builders are urging local authorities to prioritize expediting new construction due to bureaucratic delays. The district acknowledges frustration and promises to enhance systems, leverage technology for transparency, and streamline procedures. However, the current backlog of approximately 345 inspections looms large, requiring immediate attention.

The key lies in a collaborative approach that blends empathy with strategic enhancements. Untangling this gridlock requires empowering the district with more resources, amplifying technological capabilities, and revamping procedural frameworks. Transparent communication, efficient processes, and community collaboration will streamline operations.

Sooke stands at a critical juncture. Reimagining systems is crucial to fortify against future bottlenecks, not just addressing backlogs. Swiftly converting bureaucratic hurdles into progress facilitators is a way of honouring dreams and aspirations.

RELATED: Inspection delays leave homebuilders in limbo