The delay of site plan approval in Ontario is not only costly for developers, but it also has a significant financial impact on the economy. For the first time, The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) released a report that measures the total cost of delays in the approval process.
The report, created by Bousfields Inc. and Altus Group, reviewed almost 500 site plan applications across the province. The data revealed that a lag in the approval process, even by a month, comes at a steep cost for homebuyers, commercial developers and local municipalities. However, the process is often halted for nearly a year, with 35 per cent of applications taking longer than nine months to get approved. Yikes.
“Unnecessary delays, inefficiencies and lack of a coordinated process are creating additional costs that are inconsistent with the value of the site plan review,” says Bill Birdsell, President of the Ontario Association of Architects.
Below is a cost breakdown for each additional month in site plan review:
$193,000: The additional amount residential developers pay every month, which includes additional taxes, financing and inflation on construction costs for a 100-unit building.
$1.16 million – $2.3 million: The extra costs over a 6-12 month period.
Individual New Homebuyers:
$2,375: The approximate additional cost per month due to higher prices, lost equity and additional rent costs.
$113,000: The increased amount on a 50,000 square foot building due to additional taxes, financing, inflation and materials.
$680,000 – $2.9 million: The financial impact over a 6-12 month period.
$2.50 to $2.70 per square foot: The hike in price due to higher rent costs passed on by applicants.
$159,900 to $241,600: Additional costs per month, again from lost tax revenues for a 100-unit residential building.
$959,000 — $2.9 million: Same reasoning as above, over a 6-12 month period.
According to the report, the sluggish approval process is a result of fewer municipal experts and a lack of objectivity and coordination between departments. The OAA is requesting better approval guidelines to encourage a smoother process across all municipalities.
Photo: Michael Gil/Flickr