Building permits hard to come by as some projects go uninspected

A backlog of building permits means some construction projects in Edmonton may never be checked, claims a report by the city auditor.

City auditor calls for more staff, but says qualified people hard to find

A backlog of building permits means some construction projects in Edmonton may never be checked, claims a report by the city auditor. 

David Wiun says there were more than 42,000 outstanding permits as of last summer that still needed inspections before they could be approved.

Some of those projects are up to 10 years old.

There's a risk some inspections will never be carried out because construction is probably complete and the work inaccessible, Wiun writes.

Coun. Dave Loken, who sits on the city's audit committee, said the backlog raises some serious questions.

"We constantly have developers and builders complaining to us that the process takes too long," he said. "Then we have this backlog like we do and things not getting done, so there's obviously a disconnect here that needs to be addressed."

Wiun recommends the hiring of additional staff, but said it's tough finding qualified people.

Wiun also said the wait for building permits is becoming longer — now taking two weeks — and the industry is starting construction before receiving building permits.

City council's audit committee will discuss the report at a meeting next week.