LETTER: Hardship caused by permit delays

Contractor currently struggling to keep employment constant

An open letter to Mayor Ted Adlem:

I am a licensed general contractor in the District of Mission. I dropped off plans at the building department on May 21.

On June 5 I received a call to come in and discuss minor changes. I spoke with the one who called me in and was then told I will have to speak to another person. After speaking with the second person I was told to go back to the last person I just spoke with. I had to go to municipal hall four times and go back and forth from one to another to iron out the minor changes they wanted.

On June 6, (more than two weeks have lapsed so far) I called to inquire when I might expect the building permit. One inspector said it would be at least four more weeks. If I do get a permit in four weeks that would mean it took six weeks.

I called Abbotsford City Hall and asked how long a building permit takes and was told approximately two weeks. Abbotsford is so much bigger and yet so much more efficient.

This long setback in time is now forcing me to lay off some of my employees.

Why if the department is so busy and therefore collects large revenues, can it not employ additional plan checkers?

I have been in this business in excess of 30 years and have never seen it this bad.

The slow process in the building department is totally inadequate and completely unacceptable, not to mention a repeatedly occurring problem.

We are simply trying to keep employment constant in our city.

These constant delays cause me, as well as other sub-trades and related businesses, unnecessary hardship.

Frank Holzapfel

Gold Key Homes