There was high praise all around as the Hamilton Planning and Economic Department presented its budget forecast for 2022 along with a report on its activity from the 2021 year. There was a significant increase in non-residential building permits as the city’s job-creating industrial parks continue to attract new business. Permits for more than 2.8 Million square feet of industrial construction were issued, providing workspace for an estimated 3,350 jobs, either created or retained. All-time records were set in total construction value, number of housing units, industrial construction and commercial/industrial.
- Hamilton built 3,000 housing units in 2021—the highest number ever. For the first time multi-units and apartments exceeded the number of single-family homes.
- Building permits hit a new record with more than $2 Billion in permits issued. Industrial and commercial construction permits were nearly $700 million
- While there was some improvement in the number of days it tool to get Official Plan and Zoning bylaw approvals. It still took more than 500 days for both approvals. On the other hand the department showed significant improvement in getting draft subdivision plans in front of the planning committee—over 400 days.
- The department is proposing an operating budget of just under $31 Million or a 1.9 percent increase
The amount of time it takes to process various development permits continued to be a focus of concern as the city strives to enhance an “open for business” culture. One of the constraints said Jason Thorne, General Manager of Planning and Economic Development, is one that is being heard in every sector of the economy—lack of skilled technicians to process the applications.