Business owner frustrated with Saanich building permit process

Frustrated at the time it's taken to get a building permit from Saanich Municipal Hall, a longtime Saanich company has erected a sign detailing their troubles. The sign was erected on a fence surrounding property on Dieppe Rd. that Islands West Produce has been trying to develop.

It was an act of frustration for co-owner Ian Fatt who says the process has taken 7 years:

"We started the consultation process in July of 2011 with the neighbourhood association and construction should finish in July or August of 2018. So it's been a 7 year project to get a new building built for out business." 

Fatt expects he'll finally have the necessary permits by the end of this month. He and his brother plan to build a new facility to allow the wholesale produce distribution business to expand, as well as add 8 homes and 33 townhomes to the Quadra area along the Pat Bay highway.

Fatt points to Langford as an example where things get done faster and smoother, adding something is wrong in Saanich:

" I think the system is broken. The staff at Saanich have been excellent to work with. The politicians, for the most part, have been good to work with. But you put your application in and you don't hear from Saanich for 4 months. "

Fatt says even a review launched by Saanich council in 2015 to find out why things take so long, is still not complete.  Fatt says the delays cost businesses, as well as the community.

" I don't know who is driving the bus.  There needs to be somebody that takes control and gets these things through the system, and keeps the economy of Saanich going."

Fatt says he's talked to other businesses and developers who are experiencing the same thing, but they don't want to speak out for fear of getting on the wrong side of decision-makers.

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