Thursday, July 9, 2015
We finally got our building permit from the City of Ottawa. It was a complete fiasco getting this thing done and took nearly two months while we waiting for the churn of bureaucracy and poured money down the drain of monthly rental fees. The main reason for the delay was the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. They were really quick when it came to calling and getting my credit card to pay for their review and application process. But after paying for the application, it seems the person on staff who's responsible for the review went on vacation for four weeks and left us waiting.
In hindsight, even though we were told by the architect "You should have the permit in a couple of weeks", it wasn't a good idea to take their word for it. It turned out to be months. It would have been better to wait until we actually had the building permit in hand before looking for a rental apartment, moving and spending all that money. People go on vacation, reviews get held up, and the churn of bureaucracy can be very slow. So just a word of caution for anyone who is planning to renovate: don't count on the permit till you have it in hand, especially if the RVCA or other institutions are involved in any way.
It turns out the permit arrived just in time, because our neighbour called the city to complain and the bylaw officer came by and asked to see it. No real reason for the complaint, just trying to stir the pot, apparently. Technically the permit wasn't needed to do interior demolition - particularly if you're only doing interior renovations - but in any case, the builder was on site with the permit in hand, and the bylaw officer was satisfied. Our street is notorious for people calling the city to complain about construction, but for the most part people know we're a couple with a new baby who're renovating our family home, not just some property developer looking to swoop in and build a massive thing for maximum profit. So for that reason I think most people have been pretty supportive even though the site has gotten messy at times.