COQUITLAM, B.C., May 8, 2020 – Coquitlam is taking steps this week to help free up cash flow and reduce red tape to ensure construction and the related economic spinoffs continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Temporary changes to the City’s development security structure will effectively defer three-quarters of developers’ costs for City servicing – often hundreds of thousands of dollars – for months if not years, depending on the project. A new digital signature system is also being piloted to reduce the need for paper copies.
Measures Intended to Support Local Economy
Traditionally, developers pay the City a performance security equal to 110 per cent of the estimated cost for City services, such as roads or utilities, as soon as their project receives the development permit.
Under the temporary new two-step process, 25 per cent of the estimated cost will now be paid at the development permit stage, and 75 per cent when either a building permit is issued or a subdivision is approved.
The change defers the bulk of applicants’ site servicing costs to when they typically receive financing from their lender. This is a significant benefit, given that the time between development permit and building permit can vary from six months to years.
For context the City took in $30M in performance securities in 2019. This change could free up to approximately $22M to help businesses with cash flow at this time.
The two-step fee process will be in place until Jan. 1, 2021, when it will be revisited by Council and either expire or be extended. It is the latest measure taken to support the construction industry, an essential service that is a significant contributor of City revenue along with work for local residents and businesses.
Coquitlam has also kicked of a pilot of DocuSign software to enable digital signatures for permits and other documents, allowing applicants to sign documents remotely.
Planning & Development Services Continue
The Planning & Development customer service centre continues to operate Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be reached at 604-927-3430 or email Planning & Development. File managers continue to be available by phone and email.
A variety of temporary measures have been put in place to ensure important housing and other projects continue. Visit www.coquitlam.ca/development for more information and service updates.
For up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 impacts to City facilities, programs, services and events:
Coquitlam residents are encouraged to follow the City of Coquitlam on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and download the CoquitlamConnect mobile app for up-to-date City information.
For more information on COVID-19, including updates, answers to frequently asked questions, and translated information, please consult the following resources: