When I was in Barcelona visiting my daughter Maria this spring, I was taken aback by something odd…
It was the sort of thing most tourists probably wouldn’t have blinked at. But thanks to 2.5 decades of thinking about development, land use, local policy, and housing issues, it caught my attention.
Many buildings had no balconies.
“Okay…” you may be thinking. “So what?”
Unless—you’re someone who’s had the misfortune of having to navigate regulatory requirements around balconies in British Columbia.
In which case, you’re probably laughing right now. Because you understand the costs that can be avoided by nixing balconies altogether.
And the thing is, it’s not just the balconies.
Throughout many weeks of traveling this past year, I’ve realized—many of the major world cities have simply avoided so many of the stumbling blocks that we find ourselves tripping over here in BC.
I’m not saying this to suggest we should do away with local building codes and let the chips fall where they may.
But it does beg the question… Might there be areas where we’re holding too tightly to past regulations, and holding ourselves back in the process?
Is it really necessary to have so many rules and regulations about something as simple as building design?
I don’t have all the answers, there. But one thing I know for certain is that if we want to see a change in the approvals and development processes, we have to start by questioning the current system.
What are your thoughts? What regulatory changes, if any, would you like to see in BC?
Curious to hear your thoughts,
PS – If you’re a landholder who’s considering developing or redeveloping your property, and all these rules and regulations make you anxious—never fear. I’m in your corner, and I know how to navigate this minefield like the back of my hand.