SEGUIN TWP. - The township is looking at how it can increase the percentage of building applications submitted that have all the necessary information the first time.
In a report to councillors during the August 27 meeting chief building official Debbie Swim reported that only 15 per cent of the 253 project permit applications submitted this year were complete when first submitted.
When asked by Mayor David Conn what was most commonly wrong, he was told that zoning issues and new 2012 Building Code energy efficiency requirements caused problems.
The new code requirement stipulates that each home must be at least 85 per cent energy efficient, which is affected by more than insulation, but also the windows used; if a different window is purchased it’ll change the energy efficiency and the entire home.
“People have to understand that building a building has gone past the point they can do it themselves,” said Swim. “In 2016 we’re taking another (change) so you really need to take it to a designer, but people are still trying to do it themselves.”
Coun. Doug Sainsbury questioned whether the township had an information brochure it could give to applicants and was told no, but that staff had added a form to help determine on the buildings energy efficient, which includes requests for the designer’s name.
“(That) might be something your department could do in terms of providing information,” he said.
His suggestion was supported by Mayor David Conn, who said the township had to find a way to make a complicated matter simple for applicants to understand.
Township staff, Swim said, do work with permit applicants, sending detailed letters to ensure the issues are resolved after they’re first spotted to ensure they can be processed the second time around.
Overall, despite having to return 85 per cent of the applications for further details, 14 per cent of permit applications are processed within two days, 31 per cent within five days and 61 per cent within 10 days. The township has issued 202 permits of the 253 applied for as of August 14. In 2011, the township issued 207 building permits.