Development Application Process Review 2018

The Development Application Review Project which took place Spring 2018 included consultation with the development community through an on-line survey, one-on-one interviews with staff, Council and developers/applicants, and concluded with a Developers’ Forum held on April 12, 2018.   The final report from the project is available here.

The report concludes that the Town of Ladysmith, in terms of its process and customer service, is doing a commendable job.  The Town is rated highly by the majority of applicants, and in particular rated highly by those who have experience developing in multiple municipalities.  However, there are improvements that can be made, and many of those adjustments need to focus on improving the process for less experienced applicants. 

The improvements identified by the consulting team considered suggestions from Ladysmith applicants and the development community, as well as best practices, tools and approaches used in other communities. 

Our efforts are paying off as Ladysmith has just been named a finalist in the 2019 Open for Business Awards.  As a finalist, we have demonstrated our community’s commitment to fostering small business success by adopting open for business best practices. 

In 2018, the following best practice process improvements were implemented.

  • Created building permit checklists and tip sheets for new residential construction and renovations
  • Authority delegated from Council to the Director of Development Services for the issuance of two additional types of development permits (DP): Hazard Land and Riparian, in addition to Façade and DP amendments which had already been delegated
  • Streamlined the development variance permit (DVP) application process by eliminating the two-stage Council review
  • Changed the requirement for a neighbourhood information meeting – now only required if an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment is proposed
  • Direction for application review to start once the application is complete. Pre-application meetings will provide direction on what will be needed to support an application
  • Removed the Sustainable Development Checklist as an application requirement
  • Combined three advisory committees into one committee to streamline the committee review process
  • Conceptual building design underway for a combined Public Works / Engineering / Building / Planning office at the current Public Works location

These projects are planned for 2019.

  • Process guides and checklists for planning and subdivision applications
  • Building Bylaw review