Ottawa development applications up, but processed slower, in 2017

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Increased development activity this past year has been largely concentrated in central Ottawa, according to a recent report by city staff.

Ottawa’s Planning, Infrastructure and Development Department presented a year-end report to planning committee Tuesday that showed that the number of development applications grew over 2017.

There were 1,044 planning applications submitted to the city last year, an increase of four per cent compared to 2016 and 23 per cent compared to 2015. A new type of application, historical land-use inventory, accounted for 144 of those submissions.

Roughly a third of those applications were concentrated in the centre of Ottawa.

The report also reveals that the city has fallen behind on processing time for these applications. Just 25 per cent of site plan control applications requiring public consultation in 2017 were processed within the 74-day timeline, compared to 38 per cent the year before.

Zoning by-law applications, as well as those site plan control applications not requiring public consultation, also saw a drop in on-time completions last year.

The report points to increasingly complex applications, longer-than-required windows for public consultation and staff turnover as reasons for the regression.