News / Ottawa

Planning committee OKs 10 per cent cut in Ottawa's building permit fees

City staff are recommending the cut because Ottawa boasts a healthy building permit reserve fund.

Ottawa city hall

metro file photo

Ottawa city hall

Ottawa’s planning committee has approved a 10 per cent reduction in building permit fees.

Frank Bidin, the city’s chief building official, called it a “cautious approach” to tackling a hefty reserve fund. By provincial law, the “revenue stabilization fund” is only meant to cushion downturns in the economy and construction activity, cover costs of appeals or lawsuits and cover capital expenditures related to building costs. It's not mean to generate revenue for the city.

But by the end of this year, Ottawa’s own building permit reserve pool is expected to reach $28.5 million – even with this year’s projected weak growth. 

Currently, the city’s revenue stabilization fund sits just below the allotted provincial cap. A 10-per-cent decrease would cut back revenues by about $1.5 to $1.875 million this year, say city staff.

Currently, building permits for minor constructions are $80.

If council approves the plan, the new fees would go into effect on April 1.