Author: Melanie Irwin, Blackburn News
The City of Sarnia is looking to streamline the issuing of permits with new software expected to come online next spring.
Community Development Services and Standards Director Alan Shaw says modernizing the process by using an online portal is long overdue.
“Our biggest hope is that we can significantly reduce application times,” said Shaw. “Currently when we take an application in, we receive a hard copy. That hard copy is then transferred around the horns, from building to planning, planning to the county for plumbing, from the county to the fire department for review by the fire department and then back to the building department.”
Shaw said each of those transfers accounts for two days, wherein the future everyone will get it at once.
“In a situation where we’re actually taking on applications, it will go out in a tentacle type fashion,” said Shaw. “Everybody will get notified of this project, have all the information they need to review the project and they’ll all receive that within minutes. So we are actually expecting that we’ll significantly reduce applications and permitting times and it’s currently what the rest of the municipalities in Ontario are working towards.”
Shaw provided the update during a special meeting of Sarnia council Monday, to discuss corporate priorities and strategic planning for the 2019 budget.
The department is also planning for the repair/redevelopment of the Vendome parking lot. A review of community improvement plans and development of business strategies for the city’s business parks, Sarnia Harbour and Chris Hadfield Airport is also planned next year.