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RFD- 4230 Information Items   Item #   12. a.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 03/22/2021  
Title:    2020 Development Activity Report - Levasseur
Presenter: Susan Armstrong
Department: Planning & Infrastructure  
Strategic Vision Element: This topic relates to all three of the City’s strategic vision elements contained in Council’s Strategic Plan Related Goal: n/a

Request for Decision Summary
The 2020 Development Activity Report provides Council information on 2020 development and permitting activity, as well as insight into development trends for the past ten years. Permits highlighted in the review include building permits, development permits, compliance requests, Safety Codes permits, and business licences.

Proposed Motion
That the 2020 Development Activity Report be received as information.
Planning and Development prepares a development activity report each year in order to provide information to Council on the growth of the community. The information in the report provides background, trends and economic forces that influence development activity in Spruce Grove. The attached report contains a summary of activity levels for 2020 for a range of permits processed in the department, including building permits, development permits, safety codes permits, business licences and compliance requests. Activity levels are also compared to historic levels to provide context and trends.

Activity levels in 2020 were influenced by both the provincial economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic.  Hitting a few of the highlights of 2020, Spruce Grove issued 694 building permits in 2020, a 3.8% increase from permit activity in 2019.  Residential building permits for semi-detached dwellings increased by a noticeable 38% in 2020, while permits for single detached dwellings decreased by 25%. Residential improvements permits were also up by 20% relative to 2019, suggesting residents invested in home improvement, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the public to work and spend more time in their homes in 2020.

The total building permit valuation for new industrial construction in 2020 was $5.28 million, where the average value of each industrial permit, was almost 23% lower than the average value of a new industrial permit in 2019, reflecting the development of relatively smaller buildings and structures in the industrial areas.  Permits for new commercial construction has remained low at 3 permits in 2020, compared to 2 in 2019. The average value of the new commercial buildings also dropped by 51%, reflecting smaller size commercial businesses. 

Development permit activity in 2020 was down approximately 18% from 2019. Generally, the development permit numbers patterns echo those of the building permits.

In 2020, the City saw an overall 18% decrease in the total number of business licences issued, compared to 2019.

In order to provide some regional context for Spruce Grove’s growth, housing data released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is reviewed each year.  In 2020, there were 178 housing starts in Spruce Grove, a 22% decrease from 2019. The overall lower number of starts in Spruce Grove compared to some other regional municipalities is due to the lack of new apartment development in 2020, but the market share of low density units in Spruce Grove seems consistent with regional peer municipalities.
The 2020 Development Activity Report will be placed on the City's website for public information.
2020 Year End Development Activity Report.

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