There are many situations in which a developer may need to begin construction before a certain date, but cannot get their building permit in time. In Ontario that is usually because they cannot yet meet some very minor “applicable law” requirement that, according the Building Code Act, they must comply with in order to obtain the permit.
A conditional building permit can often get around this problem, even though many municipalities in Ontario use them so infrequently that they seem barely aware that they have the authority to issue them. Conditional building permits are authorized pursuant to s. 8(3) of the Building Code Act, and allow an applicant to proceed with construction even though all “applicable law” requirements necessary to obtain a building permit have not yet been met. Instead, there is only a much shorter and less onerous list of “applicable law” requirements that must be met. Even in larger municipalities conditional building permits are not always raised as an option to applicants, even if they could potentially benefit in reduced fees and commence their construction much sooner.
Some of the more common circumstances in which a conditional building permit can be useful include:
Beating an upcoming development charge (or other fee)
It will be interesting in going forward into January 2015 when the OBC’s Accessibility Requirements come into effect if these Conditional Building Permits will be granted or will the Municipalities really stick behind the AODA Design of Public Spaces & the ABES or Accessible Building requirements to not issue Building Permits. A serious approach by the City will ensure Permits are not granted unless and until ALL aspects of the ABES are in place to ensure ALL people in the province can access buildings, retail, hotels, casino’s, theatres, restaurants and sporting facilities etc. Time to become aware of the AODA in your business and comply to make certain Ontario prospers in the new economy.