Laneway housing, basement bylaw changes help drive uptick in building permits

The ever-popular statistical report on building permit activity from Vancouver’s Chief Building Official shows residential construction was down 60 percent in the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008.

Commercial activity was about the same and industrial construction actually increased somewhat.

Month-over-month numbers at the city’s building permits counter are slowly recovering from the deep declines of six months ago.

Of more significance, according to the CBO’s summary, is the shift in construction away from buildings to minor construction and renovation. This is reflected in the growing number of small project inquiries, including questions prompted by changes in bylaws covering basement renovations and laneway housing.