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Planning applications and building permits during COVID-19

Planning and Heritage Applications Procedure Update - July 21, 2020

As we continue to move forward during these challenging times, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development (PIED) has some further clarification to share. The below details contain instructions on the following:

Planning and Heritage Applications

  • Submitting new applications
  • Application Fees and Payments (cheque by mail or in person at a Client Service Centres)
  • Legal Fees and Payments (EFTs / Wire Transfer and Interac E-Transfer)
  • Post Approval Fees
  • Securities
  • Insurance Certificates
  • Commence Work Notifications
  • Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) (City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West only)

Planning and Heritage Applications

Submission of Applications

  • Electronic submission of planning applications will be accepted going forward. Please send them directly to the Planning Circulations inbox (planningcirculations@ottawa.ca).
    • As of July 6, Applicants are able to make an appointment and visit City Hall or Ben Franklin Place, in person, for the below services:
  • Electronic submission of heritage applications will be accepted going forward. Please send them to the File Lead or the heritage inbox (heritage@ottawa.ca).
  • Any additional steps in the approval process will also be completed electronically, except for required legislated hard copies. The courier services at the City of Ottawa are still unaffected at this time and can continue to be used (Open from 8 am to 4 pm)
  • Development, water and road cut field inspections continue
  • While staff begin the review of applications submitted digitally, paper copies of certain plans or legislatively required documentation may be requested in the future. Your File Lead will make arrangements to obtain these documents on a case by case basis.

Application Fees and Payments

Payments by Cheque

Client Service Centres, as of July 6, once again began handling payments for new applications and some associated application fees including recirculation and Committee of Adjustment Cash in Lieu of Parkland fees. 

To make a payment for one of the above noted fees, you can either:

  1. Make an appointment to pay in person at a Client Service Centre - City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West or Ben Franklin Place, 101, promenade Centrepointe (only for Planning Applications)
  2. Mail in the payment (Planning and Heritage Applications) ensuring the following details are on the envelope or it cannot be processed:

Your Company Name:
Application Number:
Client Service Centre
101 Centrepointe Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K2G 5K7

Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) / Wire Transfer

Effective immediately, Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) and Wire Transfers will no longer be an accepted form of payment except for Legal Fees and Disbursements. Any EFTs sent after July 31, 2020 will be returned.

Legal Fees and Disbursement Payments

After the application has been approved and the matter has been assigned to Legal Services, the assigned Law Clerk can provide details on funds owing, Legal File Number and information regarding how to make a payment by EFT, Wire Transfer or Interac E-Transfer. A Legal File number is required prior to providing payment. A cheque is no longer a permitted option for payment.

Post-Approval Design Review & Inspection Fees and Special Charges

Not to include the above Legal Fees and Disbursement

Can be paid by placing a certified cheque or bank draft (ensuring the payer’s name and mailing address are identified on the cheque or draft) with a copy of the Financial Schedules (B / C) in the drop box located at 100 Constellation. An email must be sent to the File Lead, cc’ing the Law Clerk, to confirm the payment is correct before submitting.

Effective immediately, Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) and Wire Transfers will no longer be an accepted form of payment for Post-Approval fees. Any EFTs sent after July 31, 2020 will be returned.

The following must be on your envelope or it will not be processed:

Your Company Name
Post Approval Fees
Application Number
City Hall, 110 Laurier
Mail Code: 01-14

Securities

These can be paid by:

  1. Placing a certified cheque or bank draft (ensuring the payer’s name and mailing address are identified on the cheque or draft) or hard copy Letter of Credit (LC) in the drop box with a copy of the Financial Schedules (B / C). An email must be sent to the File Lead, cc’ing the Law Clerk, to confirm the LC, certified cheque or bank draft is acceptable before submitting. The following must be on the envelope or it will not be processed:

Your Company Name:
Letter of Credit
Application Number:
City Hall, 110 LaurierAvenue
Mail Code: 01-14

 2.  The City is now accepting electronic Letters of Credit for planning applications. Legal Services will include information on this option within new agreement packages going out and can be contacted regarding this option for      agreements that have already gone out, but you wish to use this option.

Insurance Certificates

Can be submitted in PDF by email to the File Lead and assigned Law Clerk for review, confirmation and processing. Certificates can also be submitted to the drop box, located at 100 Constellation, ensuring the following details are on the envelope or it will not be processed.

Your Company Name:
Insurance Certificate
Application Number:
City Hall, 110 Laurier
Mail Code: 01-14

Commence Work Notifications

Commence work notifications will continue to be sent electronically, however, two sets of folded plans in hard copy will now be required for Development Inspections staff. The assigned Project Manager / Senior Engineer will include a request for these plans at the time of providing the commence work notification. Plans are to be directed to:

Attn: Matthew Wilson
Ben Franklin Place
101 Centrepointe Drive
Mail Code: 04-14
Ottawa ON K2G 5K7

The City has confirmed that Canada Post and the City’s internal mail services operations are still providing the required services. Although slight delays may be experienced, there is not any additional time intentionally added to the process. This is the preferred method of delivery for all documents that can not be submitted digitally to the City.

Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT)

For appellants wishing to submit Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) packages must schedule an appointment at City Hall – 110 Laurier Avenue West. Note, clients will not be able to enter City Hall without an appointment. Also, effective July 15, 2020 masks are required to be worn in enclosed public spaces at City of Ottawa facilities as per the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out as follows:

Planning Services - please send to the File Lead or the Planning Circulations inbox: planningcirculations@ottawa.ca

Heritage Services - please send to the File Lead or the heritage inbox: heritage@ottawa.ca

Thank you,

Stephen Willis, MCIP, RPP
General Manager 

Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development 
City of Ottawa 
110 Laurier Avenue West 
Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext 16150
FAX: 613-560-1273
Email: Stephen.Willis@ottawa.ca

Submitting Building Permit Applications and the Issuance of Building Permits during COVID-19 - Update July 3, 2020

Effective July 6, 2020, Building Code Service counters at Ben Franklin Place and City Hall will be open for personal service by appointment only. This includes the submission of permit applications, payment of fees and the issuance of permits.  

For your convenience, complete permit applications will continue to be accepted electronically for smaller building permit applications or couriered, for large format hard copy submissions to Ben Franklin Place or City Hall.

To protect the health and safety of our staff and visitors, safety protocols are in place. Sneeze guards have been installed, physical distancing markers have been affixed to the floors and hand sanitizer dispensers are available.

In-person Appointments (Ben Franklin Place or City Hall)

For clients wishing to submit applications, make payments or pick up permits, at either Ben Franklin Place or City Hall, an appointment must be scheduled. Click on the link below to access the appointment scheduler. Note, clients will not be able to enter Ben Franklin Place or City Hall without an appointment and submitting applications electronically is still the preferred method at this time.  Effective July 15, 2020, masks are required to be worn in enclosed public spaces at City of Ottawa facilities as per the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law.

Appointment at City Hall – 110 Laurier Avenue West

Appointment at Nepean – 101 Centrepointe Drive

Below is information with respect to:

  • Submitting Building Permit Applications
    • Schedule an in-person appointment
    • Electronic
    • Courier
  • Fees and Payments
  • Issuance of Permits
  • Building Inspections
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Submission of Building Permit Applications

All permit submissions will be reviewed for completeness upon receipt. Applications deemed incomplete will not be processed.

Applicants will be advised of the status of their submission within two business days of receipt. This may include a request for additional information. Once an application is deemed complete, the applicant will be notified of their application number and processing will begin.

Hard Copy Applications

Clients can submit their complete permit application submissions via a personal appointment at Ben Franklin Place or City Hall Client Service Counters or by courier with payment (cheque) to:

City of Ottawa - Building Code Services
101 Centrepointe Drive
Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7

or

City of Ottawa - Building Code Services
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1

Please note that all hard copy applications are to be submitted as a single package and include the following:

  • A completed and signed building permit application
  • A completed and signed Schedule 1
  • Two complete copies of the drawing package for the proposed construction project. Hard copies must be drawn and printed to a legible scale (minimum recommended scale of 1/4”=1’-0”).
  • Payment of application by cheque

Fee schedule 

Electronic Building Permit Applications (in printable PDF format)

Smaller building permit applications, such as pool enclosures, sundecks, accessory structures, patio tents, finished basements, additions, plumbing only, and secondary dwelling units may be submitted electronically if they are submitted with a maximum drawing size of 11” x 17” (recommended scale of 1/4”=1’-0”). Building permit applications can be submitted electronically via buildingpermits@ottawa.ca. The payment for all electronic building permit applications will be arranged upon submission.

Fee schedule.

Building permit applications for houses, semi-detached, duplexes, and large construction projects will not be accepted electronically. See hard copy requirements above for submission requirements.

Requirements for electronic applications are to be submitted as one-package and include the following:

  • A completed and signed building permit application form
  • A completed and signed Schedule 1
  • Electronic set of scaled drawings for the proposed construction project (minimum recommended scale of 1/4”=1’-0”).

Submission requirements and examples for residential building permit applications can be found at the following:

Helpful tips in completing the building permit application form as a homeowner

Building Permit Application form 

Section F

As a homeowner, Tarion warranty requirements outlined in Section F are not applicable and can be checked as “No”.

Section G (Schedule 1)

The Ontario Building Code, under Part C article 3.2, allows for a homeowner to take design responsibility for design activities and drawings related to:

  • The construction or alteration to the house owned by the person or
  • An ancillary building (garage or shed) that serves the house owned by the person.

The Schedule 1 requirement for this exception must be acknowledged under Section D- Declaration of Designer, 3rd sentence, under the basis for exemption-insert “homeowner”.

Building Permit Application-Section H Completeness and compliance with applicable law

Under Section H, any declaration labelled as “No” will not permit the application from being processed. Exception during the COVID-19 situation, payment is not being requested at time of application, therefore the second line may be checked as “No”.

Application/Permit Fees and Payments

The preferred method of payment for Building Code Services applications and permits is by cheque. Should you wish to inquire about alternative payment options please contact us at 613-580-2424, ext. 29312 or buildingpermits@ottawa.ca.

Issuance of Permits

Permit applicants will be contacted when a permit is ready for pickup.

Clients may contact Building Code Services at 613-580-2424, ext. 29312 or email buildingpermits@ottawa.ca for questions regarding their permit application.

Building Inspections

For public and inspector safety, Building Code Inspections staff will not enter occupied areas of the following building types for the purposes of carrying out their duties:

  • Personal dwellings, including homes, apartments and condo units
  • Long-term care facilities, seniors’ residences and retirement homes
  • Hospitals
  • Daycare facilities.

Permit holders are encouraged to speak directly with their assigned inspector regarding options for an in-person inspection. Inspectors are currently practicing enhanced health and safety protocols, including physical distancing, while on site.

Development Information Officers

If you require the services of a Development Information Officer, please reach out as follows:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What construction activities are permitted during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Effective May 19, 2020, all construction can resume, as essential workplace limits for construction have been lifted by the Province of Ontario.

Are residential additions or renovations allowed?

Yes.

Is the construction of new single detached homes, semi-detached homes or townhomes allowed?

Yes.

Is the construction of residential apartment and condominium buildings allowed?

Yes.

Can I obtain a Pool Enclosure Permit at this time?

Yes. More information.

Can I obtain a Sign Permit?

Yes. More information.

Can I access building or sign permit records?

Yes. More information.

Who should I call about unsafe work practices on construction sites?

To file a complaint or call to report unsafe work practices, call 1-877-202-0008.

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 situation, the processing of applications may be delayed. We thank you for your understanding and patience.

Future updates may occur as corresponding Provincial emergency orders are amended.

The COVID-19 situation is very fluid. For up-to-date information regarding building and renovating in Ottawa, please continue to visit Ottawa.ca.