Large portion of development applications still don't meet city timelines

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The City of Ottawa is promising to take another look at why development applications take so long to get through city hall after a yearly review showed the municipality is still failing to meet its timelines.

Ottawa City Hall

By Jacob Serebrin

The city’s goal is to process development applications that require a site plan control and public consultation – generally larger developments that don’t require an amendment – within 74 days.

However, only 19 per cent of those applications were processed on time in 2013, according to a report presented to the city’s planning committee by city staff on Tuesday morning. Another 32 per cent were processed within 30 days of that deadline.  

That means 52 per cent of applications were processed within 104 days – the lowest number and percentage in three years.

It’s a drop from 2011, when 34 per cent of applications were processed on time, with a total 54 per cent processed within 104 days.

The total number of applications processed was also down in 2013, falling to 81 from 97 in 2011.

“Site Plan Control applications requiring public consultation typically have a greater chance of not meeting the timelines because of the relative complexity of the application, the level of interest within the community and the need to spend additional time to resolve issues identified through community and technical consultation,” the report read.

The report adds that the review  will “assess why the majority of applications fail to meet the current 74-day target.”

It will also “examine whether current timelines are out of date and not reflective of the realistic time-frame required to process these applications in today’s planning environment.”

Other categories of building permits are being processed faster.

The majority of applications that require a site plan control but not public consultation were processed on time.

Of those, 53 per cent were processed within the 42-day target period, with a total of 81 per cent processed within an additional 30 days.

The majority of applications that would require a zoning bylaw amendment were also dealt with on-time.

There were 58 per cent processed within the 120-day target period while 81 per cent were completed within an additional 30 days. A total of 79 applications were processed within the 150-day period.

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