An upswing in development has kept staff busy at the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
At the CSRD’s May 21 board meeting, development services manager Gerald Christie said the department has experienced increased activity this year for everything from building permits and planning applications to bylaw enforcement files.
According to a related CSRD media release, just keeping up with requests made by telephone and through email has been a challenge for staff. In 2018, planning staff responded to approximately 10 information requests per business day. This year, it’s been anywhere from 30 to 76 requests per business day.
“Year-over-year, we have never experienced this kind of growth before in the CSRD and we are heading into what has traditionally been some of the busiest months of the season… We are doing all we can to maintain service levels, but timelines are starting to extend,” said Christie.
Other B.C. municipalities and regional districts are under similar pressure, noted Christie. Board chair and City of Salmon Arm Coun. Kevin Flynn confirmed this was true for the city.
The CSRD introduced procedures in 2020 to help streamline services, and continues to try to find ways to make things more efficient, with video and other technologies now being used to fulfil some elements of the building permit process.
Should the upswing in development continue, staff will bring the issue back to the board for discussion in the fall for the CSRD’s budget planning process.