COVID-19: Building Services Update

Date

As things are changing rapidly with COVID-19, please check with Building Services for the most recent updates.


 

COVID-19 Update, February 10, 2021

Update from Arnie Marsman, Director of Building Services/Chief Building Official as of February 10, 2021.

 

Dear Homebuilder:

Further to previous emails we’ve provided, this message is being sent to advise you of the status of building permit activity within Middlesex Centre and Lucan Biddulph as the Provincial “Stay at Home” orders are revised.

Office Closure

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the municipal office continues to remain closed. To reach a building official, please use the messaging system in Cloudpermit for the specific permit in question, email one of our staff or contact us through the building division email: building@middlesexcentre.on.ca.

Recent Provincial Response to COVID-19

Based on our interpretation of recent provincial announcements and legislative updates, we are of the opinion that;

  • All applications and permits relating to residential construction projects may proceed through application, plans review, permit issuance, construction and inspections. No additional restrictions apply to these, effective February 10, 2021.

Also, the following Construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services, are permitted at the following sites which:

1)   are associated with the health care sector or long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space;

2)   ensure safe and reliable operations of, or provide new capacity in, provincial infrastructure, including the transit, transportation, resource, energy and justice sectors beyond day-to-day maintenance;

3)   support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage, natural gas distribution, transmission and storage or in the supply of resources;

4)   support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure or child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014;

5)   are required for,

   a) the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,

   b) significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work commenced before January 12, 2021, or

   c) industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance or enhancement of personal protective equipment, medical devices such as ventilators and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic;

6)   would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products;

7)   were commenced before January 12, 2021 and that would,

   a) provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services, or

   b) provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services;

8)   support the operations of broadband internet and cellular technologies and services;

9)   prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure;

10)   are necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused, or that are not active, to ensure ongoing public safety;

11)   are funded in whole or in part by the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program;

12)   are,

   a) intended to provide shelter or supports for vulnerable persons or affordable housing; and

   b) being funded in whole or in part by, or are being undertaken by,

      i) the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,

      ii) an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,

      iii) a municipality,

      iv) a service manager as defined the Housing Services Act, 2011, or

      v) a registered charity within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada), or

      vi) a not-for-profit corporation.

Projects not qualifying as outlined above are anticipated to be allowed to proceed/continue next week. Also, in the event of a conflict between this update and provincial regulation, the regulation shall govern.

Inspection Cut off Time

As per our notice issued a few days ago, as of Friday February 12th, we will begin to require that all inspections be requested no later than 4:30 pm the working day before the inspection is required. This will allow us to provide a more efficient service. Please advise your trades of this change and continue to use the ‘Work’ tab in Cloudpermit to request inspections. If this is not possible, please email building division at building@middlesexcentre.on.ca

Job Site Person to Person Distancing

Thank you for working with us by having job sites vacant while we do our inspections. The health and safety of our staff, your staff and trades is our priority. We appreciate the efforts being made to physical distancing on job sites. Please continue to ensure that job sites are vacant for our inspectors to attend and conduct inspections.

COVID-19 Screening

Middlesex Centre staff continue with daily COVID-19 screening in order to protect fellow staff and the public. Staff may not report to work each day until our COVID-19 screening is complete.

Please feel free to contact me or one of our inspectors if you require clarification.

Sincerely,

Arnie

 


 

COVID-19 Update, January 14, 2021

Update from Arnie Marsman, Director of Building Services/Chief Building Official as of January 14, 2021.

 

Dear Homebuilder:

Further to previous emails we’ve provided, this message is being sent to advise you of the status of building permit activity within Middlesex Centre and Lucan Biddulph under the new Provincial “Stay at Home” orders.

Office Closure

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the municipal office is again closed. To reach a building official, please use the messaging system in Cloudpermit for the specific permit in question, email one of our staff (via the staff directory on our website https://middlesexcentre.on.ca/staff) or contact us through the building division email: building@middlesexcentre.on.ca.

Recent Provincial Response to COVID-19 - Ontario Regulation 10/21

Amendments to this regulation were passed this week and come into effect immediately. Based on our interpretation of this regulation:

  • No additional permits may be issued (except as permitted in 13 points listed below),
  • New home construction may continue where permits are issued,
  • Construction must cease where permits have been issued for septic/commercial/industrial sites (except as permitted in 13 points listed below), and
  • Residential renovations may not be initiated where renovation permits have been issued but work not yet started. 

Based on sections of this Ontario Regulation that apply to construction, which you can view here – Reg 10/21 – Construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services, are now only permitted at the following sites which:

1)    are associated with the health care sector or long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space;

2)    ensure safe and reliable operations of, or provide new capacity in, provincial infrastructure, including the transit, transportation, resource, energy and justice sectors beyond day-to-day maintenance;

3)    support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage, natural gas distribution, transmission and storage or in the supply of resources;

4)    support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure or child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014;

5)    are required for,

   a)    the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,

   b)    significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work commenced before January 12, 2021, or

   c)    industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance or enhancement of personal protective equipment, medical devices such as ventilators and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic;

6)    would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products;

7)    were commenced before January 12, 2021 and that would,

   a)    provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services, or

   b)    provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services;

8)    support the operations of broadband internet and cellular technologies and services;

9)    are related to residential construction projects where,

   a)    a building permit has been granted for a single family, semi-detached and townhomes,

   b)    the project is a condominium, mixed-use or other residential building, or

   c)    the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work that was started before January 12, 2021;

10)    prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure;

11)    are necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused, or that are not active, to ensure ongoing public safety;

12)    are funded in whole or in part by the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program;

13)    are,

   a)    intended to provide shelter or supports for vulnerable persons or affordable housing; and

   b)    being funded in whole or in part by, or are being undertaken by,

      i)    the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,

      ii)    an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,

      iii)    a municipality,

      iv)    a service manager as defined the Housing Services Act, 2011, or

      v)    a registered charity within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada), or

      vi)    a not-for-profit corporation.

No additional building permits will be issued for projects that do not meet the qualifications noted above. All other construction occurring under current permits which would not qualify as noted above must cease or not begin.

Inspections

We will continue with inspections for permits outlined above including residential sites which have permits that are issued. Please continue to use the ‘Work’ tab in Cloudpermit to request inspections. If this is not possible, please email building division at building@middlesexcentre.on.ca

Future Applications

Although permits will not be issued for ‘non-qualifying’ projects, we will continue to receive and review applications via the Cloudpermit application site. Applications currently being reviewed and those submitted will be reviewed and readied for issuance so that permits may be issued as quickly as possible once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Currently only applications made via Cloudpermit are being accepted.

Job Site Person to Person Distancing

Thank you for working with us by having job sites vacant while we do our inspections. The health and safety of our staff, your staff and trades is our priority. We appreciate the efforts being made to physical distancing on job sites. Please continue to ensure that job sites are vacant for our inspectors to attend and conduct inspections.

COVID-19 Screening

Middlesex Centre staff continue with daily COVID-19 screening in order to protect fellow staff and the public. Staff may not report to work each day until our COVID-19 screening is complete.

Please feel free to contact me or one of our inspectors if you require clarification.

Sincerely,
Arnie

 


 

End of Year Update, 2020

Update from Arnie Marsman, Director of Building Services/Chief Building Official as of December 10, 2020.


Dear Homebuilder, Season’s Greetings!

Just a brief message to provide a few updates for you as 2020 comes to a close.

Office Hours this Holiday Season

This year, our office will be closed, and inspections will not be available from noon December 24th until Monday January 4th.  Inspections will be available on the 4th.  Although the office may be closed over this period, keep in mind that Cloudpermit is always open to accept applications…24/7/365!

Covid-19, Screening and Inspections

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’d like to reassure you that Middlesex Centre staff continue with daily screening in order to protect fellow staff and the public. Staff may not report to work each day until it’s been confirmed that we aren’t showing any symptoms of this virus, that we’ve not been outside of Canada for the past 14 days and that we’ve not knowingly had close contact with any confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Thank you for working with us this year by making efforts to have job sites vacant of others while we do our inspections. The health and safety of our staff, your staff and trades is a priority. We appreciate social distancing being observed on job sites. This is especially important during framing inspections as we spend significant amount of time in a building for this inspection.

Building Fees and Development Charges

For 2021, based on council direction in 2015, Middlesex Centre's building permit fees will again see an increase equivalent to the September Consumer Price Index. This equates to an increase of 0.5 % ($15) to our base fee of $3,050 per dwelling unit.

Middlesex Centre’s Development Charges will also be increased for 2021 in accordance with our Development Charges By-law.  This increase is based on the third quarter Construction Price Index of 2.3 %. This equates to a new rate of $23,024, an increase of $517 over the current D.C.

Our DC Brochure and updated fees will be posted on Middlesex Centre’s website later in December. These come into effect for all applications submitted in the new year.

Builder’s Meeting

We are planning to have a virtual builder’s meeting in early 2021. In addition to development and building code updates, we are hoping to have representatives from Cloudpermit attend this meeting with the intent of getting feedback from you, as to how Cloudpermit can be improved from a builder’s perspective…please give this some consideration. Also, if there are items you’d like to have discussed at this meeting, please let staff know.

Winter Building

With winter here, please keep in mind that excavations must be protected from freezing and concrete must be kept at a temperature above 10 degrees Celsius for 72 hours after placing. Please ensure that appropriate preventative measures in this regard are in place on your job sites.

Inspection Timing

This year we’ve seen a continuation of the recent building boom. Permit numbers have increased significantly…in the range of a 50% increase in new dwellings from our highs of 2019. Based on this, we’ve had to begin inspections earlier than traditionally afternoons only. Please ensure that inspections are ready after 10:00 am.

Booking Inspections

Cloudpermit has been used by the vast majority of you for booking inspections. Thank you for your efforts in using this technology.  We’ve noticed that, quite often, plumbing contractors call or email their inspections in. Please consider providing access to your permits for your trades such as your plumbers so that these inspections may be booked online also. This helps us ensure that all inspections are scheduled efficiently and not missed.

2020 has been a difficult year to say the least!  We hope that you can find time to enjoy the holidays and we look forward to working with you in 2021.  Happy holidays and Happy New Year from all of us at Middlesex Centre and Lucan Biddulph.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or one of our inspectors.

Sincerely,

Arnie

 


 

COVID-19 Update, June 3, 2020

Update from Arnie Marsman, Director of Building Services/Chief Building Official as of June 3, 2020, re: Water Meter Installation.

Dear Homebuilder,
 
Earlier this spring the municipality ceased the installation of water meters due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  I’m writing today  to advise that beginning Monday, June 8th, we will return to our standard practice of installing meters on construction sites prior to final plumbing inspection.
 
Here’s a few details:

  1. Meters are installed Tuesdays through Thursdays
  2. Please book installation 24 hours in advance
  3. Please contact Kendall Wood and provide your name, phone number and site address
  4. As social distancing is a priority for our staff, please ensure that the building is vacant of other workers while the water meter technician is on site
  5. Please ensure that the curbstop for the property is accessible.

With regard to the occupancies which have been issued without water meter installations, we will be reaching out to those residents over the following weeks to arrange access.  If there are houses that have received occupancy permit but still have not been occupied, please arrange for these meters to be installed asap.
 
If you have any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me.
 
Arnie

 


 

COVID-19 Update, May 14, 2020

Update from Arnie Marsman, Director of Building Services/Chief Building Official as of 4:10 pm, May 14, 2020. 

Dear Homebuilder,

Based on Premier Ford’s announcement today, it appears that all construction, renovation and demolition projects will be permitted to continue on Tuesday May 19th.  In preparation for this, we ask that you please review the status of your application(s) in Cloudpermit.  Quite a number of applications have been reviewed and are marked as ‘ready to issue’.

If your file is marked as ‘Ready to Issue’, there should be an invoice in your attachments and payment instructions in your messaging. This payment will have to be completed and confirmed by our accounts payable before we will be able to issue the permit. If there is no invoice in the attachments and payment instructions in messaging, please reach out to building division staff in Cloudpermit’s messaging feature and we can ensure one is provided asap.  For quickest payment, please use the on-line banking option. Cheques may be dropped off at our office, but the processing of these may not be as quick as the on-line banking option.

Given the significant number of projects which will be commencing, please ensure that all inspection requests are made prior to 8:30 am the day of the inspection, and please take advantage of the inspection feature within Cloudpermit. Other forms of inspection requests include by phone at 519-666-0190 ext. 241 and email to building@middlesexcentre.on.ca

Middlesex Centre staff will be reviewing the provincial regulations that will be amended based on today’s announcement.  If there are any discrepancies between today’s announcement and how it is reflected in the regulations, a further email will be sent to this distribution list.

With regard to safe inspections, I can advise that our staff conduct health screening daily.  We ask that you please ensure buildings are vacant of other workers while we conduct our inspections.  Also, it is imperative that occupancy inspections are completed prior to building’s being occupied.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to myself or Building Division staff.

Arnie

 


 

COVID-19 Update, May 11, 2020

Update from Arnie Marsman, Director of Building Services/Chief Building Official as of 10:50 am, May 11, 2020. 

Dear Homebuilder:

Based on recent announcements by the province, building division believes we are close to allowing most residential projects to commence. Currently, our interpretation of the provincial list of essential construction sites does not include new single/semi/townhome starts, however we expect this to change in the coming days/weeks.

In order to prepare for the most expedient release of a large number of permits, we’ve decided that we can now proceed with invoicing applications and issuing the permits upon payment confirmation. By issuing these permits now, 2-4 days would be saved once the province allows this category of construction.

You will be receiving notifications in Cloudpermit that the invoice for your permit has been added or will be added shortly within the attachments to your application. Upon payment of this invoice being confirmed, we’ll issue the permit with the understanding that you will not commence construction until we confirm work may begin.

Please watch for these messages and confirm, in Cloudpermit, when you’ve paid the invoice as well as understanding that work may not begin until building division confirms it may.

Please let me know if you need clarification.

Arnie

 


 

Permit System Update, April 14, 2020

As of April 14, 2020, there will be a fresh new look and name for our e-permitting system, as Evolve becomes Cloudpermit. Your current permits and applications will not be affected. 

 


 

COVID-19 Update, April 7, 2020

Update from Arnie Marsman, Director of Building Services/Chief Building Official as of 4:00 pm, April 7, 2020. 

Dear Homebuilder:

Further to my email of March 17, 2020, this message is being sent to advise you of the status of building permit activity within Middlesex Centre and Lucan Biddulph.

Office Closure

The municipal office has been closed since March 18th.  To reach a building official, please use the messaging system in Evolve for open permits, or via email to one of our staff (via the staff directory on our website (https://middlesexcentre.on.ca/staff) or to building division’s email building@middlesexcentre.on.ca.

Provincial Response to COVID-19 - Ontario Regulation 82-20 

Amendments to this regulation were passed and have come into effect as of midnight April 4th.  Based on the following sections of this regulation, which you can view here… amendments to Reg 82-20, construction activity may only continue for the following sites:

1.    Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.

2.    Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.

3.    Critical industrial construction activities required for,
i.    the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
ii. significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
iii. industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.

4.    Residential construction projects where,
i.    a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes,
ii. an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings, or
iii. the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020.

5.    Sewage systems

6.    Construction supporting Agricultural uses

No additional building permits will be issued for projects that do not meet the qualifications noted above.  All other construction occurring under current permits which would not qualify as noted above must cease.

Inspections

We will continue with inspections for permits outlined above including residential sites which have permits that are issued.  Please continue to use the ‘Work’ tab in Evolve to request inspections.  If this is not possible, please email building division at building@middlesexcentre.on.ca

Future Applications

Although permits will not be issued for ‘non-qualifying’ projects, we will continue to receive and review applications via the Evolve application site.  Applications currently being reviewed and those submitted will be reviewed and readied for issuance so that permits may be issued as quickly as possible once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.  Currently only applications made via www.Evolvepermit.ca are being accepted.  Paper applications will not be reviewed. 

Job Site Person to Person Distancing

Thank you for working with us recently by having job sites vacant of others while we do our inspections.  The health and safety of our staff, your staff and trades is our priority.  We appreciate the distancing being observed on job sites.

Please feel free to contact me or one of our inspectors if you require clarification,

Sincerely,

Arnie
 


 

COVID-19 Update, March 17, 2020

Update from Arnie Marsman, Director of Building Services/Chief Building Official as of  March 17, 2020. 

Dear Home Builder/Developer, 

The following email is to update you on building division’s activities in response to the COVID-19 virus, as of Tuesday, March 17th.

At this time, all municipal facilities including the municipal office in Coldstream are closed to the public.  Although the office is closed, building division will be continuing to operate, as close to usual as possible...as described below:

  • Given that our building permitting system in 'Evolve' is entirely electronic, builders are able to continue to submit building permit applications, and we are able to review these applications electronically.
  • Staff will continue to conduct administrative work and plans review in the mornings each day.
  • As you've been accustomed to, inspections will continue to be provided in the afternoons Monday through Friday.  

In order to assist us with conducing our business in these difficult times, we ask the following of you:

  • Please minimize the number of workers on the job site which we'll be attending. Building inspections are currently available during the COVID-19 threat only because very little interaction with others is necessary.  Staff have been advised that they are to leave a job site if reasonable separation to other workers is not possible.  This will be at staff's discretion.  If we leave a job site for this reason, we will not return that day.
  • As most of you know, Middlesex Centre's and Lucan Biddulph's Building Permitting system is found at www.evolvepermit.ca  Please use Evolve to it's fullest potential in the following ways:
    1. Submitting applications. Currently, we cannot accept paper applications. Electronic applications will be processed within the required timelines.
    2. Please request inspections using Evolve.  More recent applications have inspection requests built into the system, while older permits in Evolve will require you to create the inspection.  Feel free to contact staff if you need assistance.
    3. Please book inspections for your trades.  Often plumbers call inspections in. Please assist us by requesting these inspections via Evolve for your trades.
    4. Please use Evolve's messaging system if you have a question or comment of a specific active permit.
    5. We are currently looking into accepting electronic payment for building permits. More information will be provided once this is confirmed. Given that our office is closed, payments may be made by dropping cheques off at the municipal office mail slot.
  • If you need to reach staff please use email rather than by phone. Staff emails are available on our website.
  • Inspections will be conducted only in the afternoon.  Please inform your trades of this.
  • If inspection requests cannot be made via Evolve, please use the building division email, building@middlesexcentre.on.ca, in place of calling the inspection in.  This email is the best way to book inspections outside of using Evolve.

Kilworth Heights West Builders

As we are approaching occupancy in this development, please ensure that adequate time is allowed for the following so that occupancy permits can be issued without delay:

  1. Water meters - please contact Arnie Marsman for updates
  2. Final plumbing inspections are completed, and 
  3. Occupancy inspections/walk through are completed 

We will provide further updates as they become available.

Sincerely,

Arnie