Development services review update: 10 process improvements identified!

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

We’ve reached the mid-point in the development services review and process improvements are underway in two Council-supported focus areas for 2019/2020: (i) site plan and (ii) public engagement processes.

Improvements were identified through collaboration with the development community, broader community and staff in 2019.

I’m pleased to highlight 10 success stories that were recently shared with Members of Council, the City's Corporate Leadership Team, and the Development Services Review Steering Committee:

  • Re-imagining written public notices through a more visual, readable postcard format for statutory notices;
  • A new Planning division landing webpage (launched) and story map interface (in development) for development applications through which all application materials will be posted to increase transparency;
  • Development of a new community engagement guide for development applications;
  • Quicker review for completeness for site plan applications by distributing the review from one staff member to 10 staff members and assigning the application to the same file planner from pre-submission;
  • Re-imagining the purpose and format of site plan pre-submission meetings to ensure they are more collaborative and focus on key issues;
  • Development of a two-stage submission/approval process for site plans post Approval In Principle to ensure submissions are made in the right order;
  • Preliminary pilot testing for electronic submission/review for site plan applications;
  • Establishing consistent reviewers over the life cycle of a site plan file and prioritization of re-submissions where possible;
  • New onsite certification/inspection sign-off procedures for site plans: no re-inspection for works that met requirements on previous inspection;
  • Proactively following up with site plan applicants to inform them of outstanding certification requirements and securities being held by the city in an effort to clear securities quicker.

Staff will focus efforts on the following in 2020:

  • Continue to improve communication, collaboration and coordination in the site plan process
  • Scale-up digital plan submission/review (phase 2 of pilot)
  • Website improvements
  • Public education and engagement improvements
  • Replicate improvements in other business areas within development services

Many thanks for your participation thus far – we look forward to your feedback on the improvements as they reach full implementation, as well as future opportunities to work together to improve our processes.

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This project has ended. Thank you to everyone who took part in the consultation.

The City completed a multi-year review of its development services, implementing improvements developed in consultation with community organizations, developers, residents and businesses. Better information, new digital tools for developers and an improved public consultation process are already showing early signs of success. City staff played an important role in identifying solutions across 18 priority areas.

The review identified two immediate areas for improvement: the site plan process and public consultation. Improvements suggested by the review will continue to be implemented throughout 2021, and staff will be assessing the effectiveness of their improvements at regular intervals. The full report can be found here.

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