Monday, August 19, 2019

Building boom prompts City of Orillia to hire new building inspector

As reported on, prolonged, record-breaking growth has proven to be a mixed blessing for Orillia.

While the sustained construction activity is positive economic news, it’s also stretched municipal resources beyond its limits, leading to lengthy backlogs for those seeking building permits.

Because of that, city council approved the hiring of a new building inspector during its budget deliberations last week.

“It will definitely help,” said Kelly Smith, the city’s chief building official.

She said the city set a record, in 2008, when 589 building permits were issued.

After that, things went “back to normal” until 2016. That year, the city issued a record-shattering 620 permits that included 160 single-family homes.

In 2017, the number of permits ballooned to 657; 212 of those related to single-family homes.

Last year, the trend continued as the city issued 696 permits; 253 were for single-family homes.

“It’s been three-years of record-breaking numbers of building permits,” said Smith. “We are seeing dramatic growth.”

That dramatic growth has stressed staffing. In addition to Smith, there are just three building inspectors employed by the city.

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