Building permits in Abbotsford valued at $49 million in first quarter

Of the 604 housing units currently approved in principle in Abbotsford, 41 per cent are single-family homes and 44 per cent are apartments

Apartments account for 44 per cent of all construction approved in principle in Abbotsford in the first quarter of 2014.

Apartments account for 44 per cent of all construction approved in principle in Abbotsford in the first quarter of 2014.

Of the 604 housing units currently approved in principle in Abbotsford, 41 per cent are single-family homes, 44 per cent are apartments and 15 per cent are townhouses, according to data released by the city’s planning and development department.

The department presented its first quarterly report to council on Monday, covering January to March, as part of increased reporting on development trends in the city.

There are also 767 housing units under review by the city, of which 29 per cent are single-family homes, 31 per cent are townhouses and 40 are per cent are apartments.

The report states that much of the single-family activity from the quarter was concentrated in west Abbotsford (30 per cent) and Auguston (20 per cent). Sixty per cent of the townhouses are proposed for east Abbotsford and 85 per cent of the apartments are proposed within the central urban area.

It is expected that single-family home development activity for 2014 will “significantly exceed” the five-year average, according to the report, and potentially exceed the 10-year average, given the number of lots proposed alongside the current applications.

In the first quarter, the value of issued building permits was more than $49 million, with 14 per cent in residential development, 25 per cent in multi-family, 21 per cent in industrial and 15 per cent in commercial.

While the number of commercial building permits decreased by 16 in the first quarter compared to 2013, dropping from 26 per cent of the total building permit value to 15 per cent, staff say this could be attributed to the completion of the Highstreet shopping complex.

Among the new planning department initiatives, the city has created a Development Application Review Team (DART), which first met in May.

The team brings together staff from several city departments to review development applications as a group, instead of reviewing applications separately. This is intended to make it easier for developers and applicants to meet the needs of each department, as well as reduce staff time for each application.

The planning department will present development data each quarter for council review.