Ottawa, Barrie outline building approval processes during COVID-19 shutdown

Ottawa City Hall
Photo by Jean-Luc Henry

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Municipal officials in Ottawa and Barrie have announced special procedures for permitting and municipal projects in light of the provincial government’s Stay at Home COVID-19 emergency regulations.

In Ottawa, Stephen Willis, General Manager of the city’s Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department (PIED) says in a memo that his department “has taking steps to ensure services will continue with the new restrictions that have been imposed.”

“The client service counters, and Building Code service counters located at 101 Centrepointe Dr, and 101 Laurier Ave. will be closed as of Jan. 15, 2021, at the end of the business day, until further notice. The Right-of-Way counter at 100 Constellation (6th floor) continues to be and will remain closed,” the statement says.

Further provisions are outlined below.

Planning services and heritage planning

For all inquiries with respect to your application or pre-consultations please contact your File Lead or a Planner III if you have not been assigned a File Lead. Information will be received through various avenues and they need to be aware of all submissions including the submission of funds.

NOTE:When completing a PDF form from Ottawa.ca ‘radio buttons’ or ‘selectable button’ in the applications, forms cannot be completed in your web browser. Please download the form and save on your computer. You will then be able to fill out the form, save and print as required.

Electronic submission of planning applications and/or heritage applications:

  • Electronic submission of planning applications (Please send them directly to the Planning Circulations inbox: planningcirculations@ottawa.ca. Note: If using a file sharing / transfer site to submit supporting documents, please select one that does not restrict access to a single planning staff member or email address.)
  • Electronic submission of heritage applications (Please send to the File Lead or the heritage inbox:heritage@ottawa.ca).
  • Any additional steps in the approval process will also be completed electronically, except for required legislated hard copies. The courier services at the City of Ottawa are still unaffected at this time and can continue to be used (open from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.).
  • Development, water, and road cut field inspections will continue.
  • While staff begin the review of applications submitted digitally, paper copies of certain plans or legislatively required documentation may be requested in the future. Your File Lead will make arrangements to obtain these documents on a case by case basis.

Payments

An application number is required prior to providing payment. If you do not have an application number, please contact your File Lead or a Planner III. They will provide you with the necessary application number and details on proceeding with payment. All inquiries regarding confirmation of funds receipt are to be directed to the File Lead.

At this time, payments for new planning and heritage applications, recirculation fees, and Committee of Adjustment Cash in Lieu of Parkland Fees are to be mailed in ensuring the following details are on the envelope:

Your Company Name:
Application Number:
Client Service Centre
101 Centrepointe Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K2G 5K7

The city is not accepting Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT).

Building Code services

Building permit applications will continue to be received and processed during this time.

Hard copy applications

Clients can submit their complete permit application submission packages with payment (cheque) via courier to:

City of Ottawa- Building Code Services
100 Constellation Dr.
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8

NOTE:All hard copy applications are to be submitted as a single package and include the following:

  • A completed and signed building permit application
  • A completed and signed Schedule 1
  • Two complete copies of the drawing package for the proposed construction project. Hard copies must be drawn and printed to a legible scale (minimum recommended scale of 1/4”=1’-0”).
  • Payment of application by cheque

Electronic Building Permit applications (in printable PDF format)

Smaller building permit applications, such as pool enclosures, sundecks, accessory structures, patio tents, finished basements, additions, plumbing only, and secondary dwelling units may be submitted electronically if they are submitted with a maximum drawing size of 11” x 17” (recommended scale of 1/4”=1’-0”). Building permit applications can be submitted electronically via buildingpermits@ottawa.ca. The payment for all electronic building permit applications will be arranged upon submission.

Issuance of permits

Permit applicants will be contacted when a permit is ready for curbside pickup. Clients may contact Building Code Services at (613) 580-2424, ext. 29312 or email buildingpermits@ottawa.ca for questions regarding their permit application.

Building inspections

Building Inspections will continue during this time. For public and inspector safety, Building Code Inspections staff will not enter occupied areas of the following building types for the purposes of carrying out their duties:

  • Personal dwellings, including homes, apartments and condo units
  • Long-term care facilities, seniors’ residences and retirement homes
  • Hospitals
  • Daycare facilities.

Permit holders are encouraged to speak directly with their assigned inspector regarding options for an in-person inspection. Inspectors are currently practicing enhanced health and safety protocols, including physical distancing, while on site.

Right of Way, heritage and urban design

Applications for road cut and over-dimensional vehicle permits continue to only be accepted electronically. To request a temporary construction encroachment permit, please contact the applicable area traffic management Inspector.

All permits will be issued electronically, with payment taken over the phone. To download a road cut application form, and for further information on road cut permit requirements, visit Ottawa.ca/roadactivity. Please direct questions to ROW_Permit_Office@ottawa.ca.  The counter at 100 Constellation continues to remain closed.

Inspection services and surveys and mapping will continue, in compliance with the new regulations. Alternate methods may be utilized to ensure the continued health and safety of our staff.

Infrastructure services

Construction projects are proceeding and are complying with public health measures to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is critical to keeping our staff, and the community we serve, safe. The situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly, given the rapid changes, visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus for the latest information.

Environment studies, design assignments, contract administration, inspection services, engineering support during construction, condition assessments and associated field investigative work on all infrastructure projects continue to proceed as planned.

Staff are working remotely from home offices with few exceptions. Teleworking and other innovative ways of communicating remotely continue to be encouraged for business.

Business and technical support services

Since March 2020, the city has moved all committee and council meeting to an online platform.   Due to the new restrictions some items may experience delays as they move through the legislative process.

General contact information for services in PIED:

If you have any general questions or concerns, please contact 3-1-1 or go to Ottawa.ca for more information.

For specific questions related to a project, permit, application or construction project please contact as follows:

For ongoing updates, please refer to the Planning, Development and Construction page on Ottawa.ca. PIED will continue to update you as additional changes are made to address the current emergency.

Barrie

Barrie’s chief building official Michael Janotta has sent a memo outlining the city’s Building Department policies.

“We all have a role to play in addressing the serious public health risk created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she wrote. “As community leaders, the City of Barrie is seeking a collaborative and reasonable approach with our construction industry partners regarding continued activity on both public and private construction projects within the city.

“In accordance with Ontario Regulation 82/20 and subsequent amendments by Provincial Order issued Jan. 12 , 2021, and effective as of 12:01am on Jan. 14, 2021, effective immediately the following additional restrictions are imposed on Building Department services,” Janotta wrote.

Building inspections will NOT be carried out on construction projects deemed to be nonessential as per the Provincial list.

This includes:

  • All ICI construction, except as exempted as essential construction
  • All residential construction except where:

o A building permit has been granted for a single family, semi-detached, and townhomes

o The project is a condominium, mixed use or other residential building, or

o The project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work that was started before January 12th, 2021.

“Please note the Building Department will continue to accept building permit applications and issue building permits for all building types through the City’s APLI portal. It must be noted that, notwithstanding a permit may be issued during this time, physical construction for these projects is not authorized (and inspections will not be done) unless they are deemed to be essential by the Emergency Order referred to above, or the Emergency Order is lifted.

The latest regulation which identifies exempt construction projects can be found here: https://files.ontario.ca/solgen-amend-8220-2021-01-13.pdf.”

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