A local resident and business owner is drawing attention to a simple, yet important problem: hydro layout inspections can be yet another hindrance to the already overcomplicated world of building new housing, or renovating existing housing or businesses.
The business owner who contacted the Times wished to remain anonymous in order to prevent any effect a news story might have on her case.
“I contacted Hydro One [mid June] for a new layout request for renovations we are planning,” she said. I would’ve called in April had I known we required a new layout, but due to errors with Ontario Call Before You Dig, we did not know Hydro was in the area we were working.”
The business owner is being told that the earliest date she can get an onsite meeting for a layout is October 30 more than 4 months after her call. “After making calls and inquiring, it appears that most new builders and electricians are all facing significant delays,” she added. “The response we received from Hydro One is they are short staffed and I should have called sooner!”
Such a delay can potentially have a major impact on those building housing or upgrading their business, as is the case with the business owner who spoke to the Times. “If we cannot get our new septic system in before the winter sets in, then we potentially risk closing as we have outgrown our current set up,” she said. “These delays must have significant impacts to many. With the need for affordable housing, what type of financial burdens are being added to the costs due to these delays?” The business owner added a suggestion: “Can the layouts not be contracted out if they are that far behind? If they are that short on staff, why is there not more than one position posted for planning, instead of 27 positions for managers and administration?”
The provincial government is pushing its plan to “build more homes faster”, in part by cutting red tape. Clearly, much red tape still exists in the industry.