The building we were looking at on St. John and 12th Ave was zoned Residential – Discretionary Use, despite the fact that it was a commercial use property. This means that we would have had to applied to the City to have it approved for use as a daycare. The cost to apply? A minimum of $2500. And we would have had to pay that twice because of the vacant lot behind it.
Add to that the fact that the application for Discretionary Use asked for architectural drawings (which start at $10,000), this is a very cost-prohibitive process for a non-profit charity.
Timing wasn’t working in our favour. It was August 26. I was told we wouldn’t have the application done in time for the September City Council meeting (September 7). And it needed to circulate for 30 days around various departments to get approval. There was also an election planned for October. So, we were looking at not being approved until December. Agh.
I mentioned to the person I spoke to that we would have 4 months to do renovations. The response? They wouldn’t approve any building permits for the daycare until the Discretionary Use application was approved. So we would not have been able to start work on the building for 4 months.
The City sure does not make it easy for organizations to use existing buildings for daycares. Now if we had wanted to convert the property to apartments, well, we could have done that without a Discretionary Use application.
The joy of Red Tape. I wish Mayor Nenshi was mayor of Regina.