Development services review update: Improvement projects underway

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Changes seem to be happening all around us. The community we serve wants to be more involved in decisions that affect them. Economic Development is building a new strategy (Make it Kitchener 2.0) and refocusing events to create memorable moments. Transportation and Parks are collaborating on a new Cycling and Trails Master Plan. Engineering has been ramping up road reconstruction projects to address the infrastructure replacement back-log. Planning and Building teams are busy with the development activity going on, and sustainability initiatives are being embedded in the work we do. It does feel like our entire city is undergoing a transformation right now. All of this while the Province is changing the development process through legislative and regulatory changes related to Bill 108.

Change creates an opportunity to rethink how we deliver service - making us more nimble, agile and creative. Our development services review is one way where we can work together to address the changes happening all around us.

In our last update, we shared that the two priority areas for the review are the full site plan process and public engagement. These focus areas were confirmed by Committee / Council and we began working with our project teams (over 30 staff) in June / July to establish what’s in and out of scope for each project. We have also been working with the teams to understand the “current state” of our processes, which will help identify key improvement opportunities and where to focus our efforts for the duration of the review.

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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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