A conditional building permit can often get around this problem, even though many municipalities in Ontario use them so infrequently that they seem barely aware that they have the authority to issue them. Conditional building permits allow an applicant to proceed with construction even though all "applicable law" requirements necessary to obtain a building permit have not yet been met. Instead, there is only a much shorter and less onerous list of "applicable law" requirements that must be met. Even in larger municipalities conditional building permits are not always raised as an option to applicants, even if they could potentially benefit in reduced fees and commence their construction much sooner.
Some of the more common circumstances in which a conditional building permit can be useful include:
- Beating an upcoming development charge (or other fee) increase, typically payable upon issuance of the first above-grade building permit;
- Where a Record of Site Condition pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act has not yet been secured and is expected to delay issuance of the building permit significantly;
- Where a Committee of Adjustment has approved variances but the statutory Ontario Municipal Board appeal period has not yet expired.