The CVRD’s electoral areas have seen a surge in applications for building development permits. (File photo)

The CVRD’s electoral areas have seen a surge in applications for building development permits. (File photo)

Cowichan’s electoral areas see big increase in building permits

Nine electoral areas see 33% increase in permits over same period last year

The nine electoral areas in the Cowichan Valley Regional District have seen a dramatic increase in the number of building permits issued.

Ian MacDonald, the CVRD’s manager of building inspection and bylaw enforcement, told the electoral areas services committee at a recent meeting that in the first three months of 2022, the building department issued 118 building permits, a 33 per cent increase over the same period in 2021, in the electoral areas.

He said that also of note were the number of permits issued for new dwellings (29), a 26 per cent increase over the previous year’s first quarter.

“It is anticipated that with the increasing economy and continued strong demand for housing in the Cowichan Valley, that the number of total permits will remain steady and the number of permit applications for dwellings will continue to increase,” MacDonald said.

Shawnigan Lake director Sierra Acton said she was surprised to see how much applications for building permits have increased over the last year.

“When we hear statistics suggesting that we’ll only see growth of about 5,000 people over the next 10 to 20 years, it seems like a lot more growth than what is being predicted,” she said.

“Is this a shock [to staff] or does it correspond with the kind of growth that we are expecting, and are we sharing this information with the planning department so that we can double check the information we’re using to plan?”

MacDonald said he believes everyone realizes there has been a surge in new housing construction over the last few years.

“There’s certainly a shortage of housing in the Cowichan Valley,” he said.

“As far as working with the planning department, we may also see an uptick in development permits as well. It’s obvious to everyone that there quite a demand [for new housing] right now.”

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