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VIDEO: Builder calls out Lake Country for outrageous delays

Building permits for one single-family home in Lake Country took 944 days to come through.

That's over two and a half years.

And at least one builder says the delay is outrageous.

"It's bad policy, it's old archaic bylaws," said Les Bellamy of Bellamy Homes, "a council that was not motivated to move housing forward."

And he says that's not unusual.

"We've got another application in there that reached its two-year milestone on the first of May, and they haven't even opened the file," said Bellamy.

"I think there are a lot of developers and builders in the Central Okanagan who are extremely upset at the timelines and I think there are a lot of private citizens that are wondering why it's taking so long."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia <who> Les Bellamy, Bellamy Homes

A process that tends to take a few months in most municipalities has been taking a few years in Lake Country.

Mayor Blair Ireland is not dodging the complaint.

"I sympathize with him. We haven't been good," he acknowledges.

"It's super frustrating, I understand that."

But Ireland said the problems in the municipalities development department have been his number one priority since he became mayor a year and a half ago.

"I wake up in the middle of the night thinking how can we get better," he said.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"We've got a new CAO that started mid-February and we've made massive changes to what we're doing," explained Ireland.

Council has made amendments to its Official Community Plan that will give staff more authority to move applications along.

"To give people a chance to get their permits a lot quicker," said the mayor.

Still, about 140 development applications remain in the queue while the municipality works to streamline the process.

"They're going in the right direction, but they're doing it too slow," argues Bellamy.

And he points back to the example of the owners involved in the project that had to wait 944 days.

Because those delays cost people more than just time.

"The cost of their construction went up half a million dollars," he said.

Ireland said the issue is on the agenda again at the next council meeting aimed at further changes to reduce the red tape.

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