In an effort to streamline the City of Vancouver’s permitting processes, the local government has announced the upcoming launch of two digital tools: the Project Requirements Exploration Tool (PRET) and eComply. These tools, developed in collaboration with Australian software company Archistar, aim to enhance the efficiency and transparency of the development permitting process. By utilizing these innovative online platforms, the City of Vancouver aims to reduce review time, simplify compliance checks, and provide greater confidence to residents and businesses during the application process.
PRET: Simplifying the Early Stages of Development
The Project Requirements Exploration Tool (PRET) is set to revolutionize the early stages of development in Vancouver. By leveraging PRET, applicants will have the ability to explore and understand the regulations and requirements for various locations within the city. This will enable them to identify potential costs, map out timelines, and assess project feasibility more effectively. The launch of PRET marks an important step forward in empowering applicants with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their development projects.
eComply: Ensuring Compliance in Latter Stages
In addition to PRET, the City of Vancouver will introduce eComply, a tool designed for use in the latter stages of development. eComply allows applicants to upload their designs and drawings, which are then checked against the City’s regulations. By doing so, applicants can receive a comprehensive compliance report, ensuring that their plans adhere to the necessary guidelines. This digital solution reduces the need for manual reviews, significantly expediting the review process and improving overall efficiency.
Benefits for Applicants and City Staff
The implementation of these digital tools brings numerous benefits to both applicants and City staff involved in the permitting process. Currently, the manual review process involves extensive back-and-forth communication between staff and developers, leading to delays and potential errors. The introduction of PRET and eComply aims to reduce staff manual review time while providing applicants with confidence that their applications are compliant and complete. The streamlined process will empower applicants to resolve any outstanding issues promptly, ensuring a smoother application submission.
Partnership with Archistar: A North American First
The City of Vancouver is proud to be the first municipality in North America to collaborate with Archistar, an Australia-based software company specializing in streamlining development processes. The partnership highlights Vancouver’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology to improve the efficiency of municipal services. Archistar’s CEO, Ben Coorey, emphasizes the transformative impact these tools will have on Vancouver’s residents and businesses, facilitating faster, easier, and cheaper approval processes.
Future Initiatives and Simplified Policies
The City of Vancouver recognizes the need for continuous improvement and aims to simplify the application process further. As part of this commitment, the city is in the process of amending existing policies to streamline the development permitting process. Initiatives include aligning regulations for low-density residential (RS) zones, removing unnecessary design and administrative requirements, changing engineering review processes, and integrating rainwater management requirements into the plumbing permit process. These measures will alleviate the burden on applicants, reducing processing time and enhancing overall efficiency.