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Building Division Services During COVID-19


As part of our ongoing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, and in keeping with the Province of Ontario’s declaration of a State of Emergency, the City of London has moved to minimal operations and delivering essential services only, effective March 17, 2020. During this time a number of City facilities including City Hall are closed.

April 5, 2020

The following is an update related to the status of Building Division Services and Development Services. In the event of a conflict between this update and any previous ones herein, this update shall govern.

Effective Saturday, April 4, 2020 for the next 14 days, considering the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves:

Permit Applications

Applications (both those already in the queue and any new ones accepted after Saturday, April 4, 2020) will be reviewed as per the current structure/setup (limited application types). 

Building/Plumbing/Fire Protection Inspections ("Inspections")

  1. The Building Division will continue to provide the current inspection services with respect to RESIDENTIAL construction work associated with a building permit issued before Saturday, April 4, 2020 (11:59 pm).

    No inspections will be conducted for work associated with RESIDENTIAL construction under a permit issued after Saturday, April 4, 2020.
     
  2. Inspections will continue to be conducted under a building permit for work associated with INSTITUTIONAL healthcare sector facilities or buildings (expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care services) regardless of the date the permit was issued.
     
  3. Inspections will continue to be conducted under a building permit issued for critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors regardless of the date the permit was issued.
     
  4. Inspections will continue to be conducted for work associated with an INDUSTRIAL building permit for:
     
    • the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
    • significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
    • 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.
       
  5. Inspections for construction work associated with any INDUSTRIAL ,COMMERCIAL or INSTITUTIONAL permits with the exception of pars. 2 to 4 above, are suspended.

Permits for Signs, Pools, Fences, and Work Approvals

Permit processing for the following, continues and remains unchanged:

  • Work Approval Permits
  • Move/Heavy Load Permits
  • Sign permits
  • Swimming Pool Fence Permits
  • Lawyers’ Letters
  • Zoning Compliance Letters

Replies to all email enquiries related to the above are still available.

Development Services Update:

Development Services will continue to review subdivision and site plans already in the queue through digital submissions ONLY.  At the agreement or registration stage, paper copies of legal documents may be accepted subject to appropriate measures for social distancing for signatures or other administrative matters.   

Development Services will continue to support Building Permit issuance and coordinate:

  • Inspections for Conditional Clearance or security reductions may continue with appropriate measures taken for social distancing. 
  • Reporting to Planning and Environment Committee for various Consent Item matters, such as holding provision removal, subdivision agreements, etc.
  • Registration of plans, subject to the availability of the Registry Office.

Update - April 1, 2020

Pool fence permit applications accepted

New pool fence permit applications are now accepted to be processed.  New applications may be submitted to zoning@london.ca  Pool fence inspections are currently not available at this time but will be conducted at a later date.

Following the issuance of a swimming pool fence permit please ensure that temporary fence as set out in By-law PS-5 is in place during all phases of construction, and until the permanent fencing encloses access to the pool area entirely.  Regulations regarding temporary fencing have been included here, as well as the link to the by-law  http://www.london.ca/city-hall/by-laws/Documents/poolPS5.pdf

Following the completion of the pool, equipment, and fence installations please email PoolFenceInspectionRequest@london.ca  When City services return to full capacity, a City staff member will respond and an inspection will be conducted. 

As per the Pool Fence By-law:

3.3 No construction - without temporary fencing

No person shall fail to enclose a swimming pool with temporary fencing during construction.

3.12 Completion of swimming pool fence – filling with water

(a) No person shall place water in a swimming pool or cause or permit water to remain in the swimming pool if the required swimming pool fence is not completely constructed in compliance with the requirements in this by-law.

Construction of swimming pool – swimming pool fence permit – temporary fence – filling with water

(b) Despite subsection 3.12(a), where a person is constructing or causing to be constructed a swimming pool for which a swimming pool fence permit has been issued, a person may place water in a swimming pool or cause or permit water to remain in the swimming pool if there is temporary fencing in place in compliance with section 5.10 of this by-law, but only where such temporary fencing is in place for no longer than 120 days after the issuance of the swimming pool fence permit.

Upate - March 31, 2020

Electronic permit application submission has resumed

Our online portal has reopened today allowing registered users to once again submit permit applications to be processed.  New users can also apply to be registered.

Despite all building and plumbing inspections appearing as available on the portal, we are only able to offer a limited number/type of inspections.

Any inspection requests that do not meet the criteria previously identified here will be cancelled. Alternatively, a professional engineer or architect may be retained to inspect phases of construction as identified on the permit card.  Their inspection reports will need to be submitted to our office. Upon resuming normal operations, the building inspector may request portions of the work to be uncovered.

Due to the current situation, delays in processing are to be expected. We are doing the best we can to process all permit applications in a timely manner.

Important: Inspection requests will soon only be accepted through our online portal only, so we encourage you to register and get familiar with this channel.

Update - March 30, 2020

As of Monday, March 30, 2020 building inspections will be available for unoccupied accessory structures (sheds, carports, pool cabanas, both attached and detached garages, decks, etc.). These inspections will be conducted based on staff availability.

Inspections are also available for select buildings under renovation with a permit issued for alterations.  Specifically:

  • The entire building must be gutted (all floors levels, including below grade).
  • No personal belongings are to remain inside the building with the exception of any heavy furniture or appliances that must be covered with a tarp or suitable equivalent.
  • Any hard flooring surfaces need not have been removed.

Use of FaceTime and WhatsApp now available for select inspections.

  1. The use of the above communication platforms for any type of building inspection (all building types) is restricted for the sole purpose of the rectification of previously-identified deficiencies by the inspector.  Some plumbing inspections may also be conducted via these platforms if such inspections are arranged for with plumbing inspectors.                                               
  2. The contractor/builder must have a copy of the deficiency notice available for visual confirmation by the inspector immediately prior to the call.
  3. All deficient items that are rectified must be clearly visible through the phone for the inspector to view.
  4. At any time, the inspector may request the call to be terminated if he or she is not satisfied with the presentation at the time of the call.
  5. The contractor/builder will need to contact the inspector and arrange a possible time for this type of inspection call.
  6. The inspector will request the name of the person conducting the call.
  7. The contractor/builder will need to verify, via the call, the caller’s location to the inspector while either of these platforms is operational.
  8. The call must be continuous during the entire inspection; any stoppage or disruption may void the inspection.

Building and Plumbing Permits, including Signs, Pool Fences and Work Approval Permits

Applications for Work Approval Permits are being processed. Zoning@london.ca is being monitored and responses are provided daily.  Sign permits submitted prior to March 18th, 2020 are being processed. 

Inspections for work conducted under a ground sign permit (issued before March 18) are also resuming, based on staff availability. At this time, no Swimming Pool Fence permit applications are being processed and no new Swimming Pool Fence or Sign permit applications are being accepted.

Our online building portal is expected to re-open sometime next week.  Residential and simple plumbing permit applications, as well as sign permit applications will be available for new and existing users of the portal.

Inspections, unless noted otherwise herein, remain suspended. Visit London.ca/businessportal.

Please note: We are only able to conduct certain inspections at this time. The opening of the portal makes it possible to book all building and plumbing inspections but we only have a limited number of inspections available. Any inspection requests that do not meet the criteria previously identified on our webpage, will be cancelled and you will need to request such inspections later when we return to normal operations. Alternatively, a professional engineer or architect may be retained to inspect.  Their inspection reports will need to be submitted to our office. Upon resuming normal operations, the building inspector may request portions of the work to be uncovered.

Permit applications will be processed to the best of our ability. Thank you for your patience.

Update - March 16, 2020

As of Monday, March 16, the option was made available to have permit holders utilize third party engineers in conducting site inspections.

Development application review for in-progress site plan, subdivision and zoning files is proceeding to the best ability of management and staff, subject to the availability of digital materials and access.  Applicants are requested to reach out to the applicable file manager via phone or email, for any questions.  Hard copy submission review at this time is suspended.

Compliance inspections for conditional acceptance will be recommencing next week.

Emergency security reviews and releases are being prioritized.  Additional securities services may be available in the near future.

New development applications are not available to be submitted at this time.

  • A detailed plan is currently being prepared and will be communicated to our key stakeholders (LDI, LHBA, LDCA, LIUNA, etc.). These details will also be made available on our website.
  • Water tie ins will be inspected on a priority basis, given other water service duties.

Protocol on inspections recognizing safe, social distancing, will be shared with the building and development industry prior to inspections commencing on Monday, March 23.

Plan Reviews

Plan reviews continue to be conducted for those applications submitted electronically prior to March 18. At this time, no new permit applications are being accepted.  We are exploring the ability to accept some residential building permit applications online for those applicants already registered on our portal.

Building Inspections

As of Monday March 23, 2020, the Building Division is resuming building and plumbing inspections for NEW (ERECT) construction only for all building types. This will include Occupancy inspections.   Inspections for ALTERATION/ADDITION permits remain suspended.

PLEASE NOTE: If upon attendance for an Occupancy inspection the inspector identifies some type of prior (unauthorized) occupancy, on a discretionary basis, the inspection will not be conducted.

Inspectors will announce their arrival and ask that ALL tradespersons vacate the building (Single Detached Dwellings / Row Townhouses). Only thereafter, will the inspection be conducted.

Anyone that may want to speak to the inspectors on site is requested to adhere to a  2.0m safe distance limit.  Should the inspectors determine that this is not followed, on a discretionary basis, they will leave the premises.

Inspection Requests

Inspection requests are to be made via email only to building@london.ca   An automated response will be provided with further instructions.

Permits for Signs, Pool Fences, P.A.W.s

At this time, no current permit applications are being processed and no new applications are accepted.  Inspections have been suspended as well.

Please be advised that as changes occur, we will keep you updated. We have been working collectively as a team daily, to do our best to provide services during this unique and difficult time. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

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