In 2007, I subdivided a lot from my primary residence in West Kelowna with a plan to build a new family home in the future. It was a dream.
Improving the lot cost more than $40,000 for utility connections, a geotechnical survey and city expenses. In addition, it cost $18,000 in property taxes to keep an empty building lot.
Today’s cost to accomplish the same tasks would be prohibitive for the average home owner with a similar objective.
Every effort to subdivide the lot was very expensive and a hassle with the city. It took many months to obtain numerous clearances, as well as some serious budgeting as unexpected costs continued to surface.
If time spent trying to get the lot prepared to build a house on it was considered, it probably would double the amount paid. It was ridiculous!
My plan changed in 2021, so I sold the lot to a builder, who was a neighbour. One year after I sold the lot, the builder, after several months of applying, told me he is still being delayed in obtaining a building permit to build a new house on the vacant lot.
He is a professional builder who has built several homes. His funds spent to purchase the lot, as well as the very expensive building permit fees, are tied up by the bureaucracy.
Delays and processes for obtaining a building permit seem to have not changed in the past 15 years, while costs have skyrocketed. The process was difficult enough for me, a person who is inexperienced in these matters. However, for an experienced builder to be hassled is ridiculous.
I am relieved I no longer have the dream of trying to create a lot on which to build a family house. It was too much of a hassle and too expensive.
At the rate of getting approvals through the bureaucracy to create a lots or to build new houses, Canadians will never be able to reach “affordability.”
What a sham and shame in this land of opportunity when housing is so needed.
To create building incentives, the process needs to be streamlined and far less expensive.
Garry Rayner, Coldstream