Development Application Process Review 2018
The Development Application Review Project which took place this past Spring 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 have considered suggestions from Ladysmith applicants and the development community, as well as best practices, tools and approaches used in other communities.
Council provided direction to staff for supporting applicants and streamlining the application process. Some examples include:
- Removing the requirement for a neighbourhood information meeting for a rezoning application, if the application is OCP consistent, and for all DVP applications
- Removing the requirement for the completion of the Sustainable Development Checklist, and updating the development application form
- Removing the two-stage process for the consideration of DVP applications, so that staff may proceed to notification for all applications
- Requiring pre-application meetings for planning applications to support inexperienced applicants
- Requiring complete planning applications to be submitted prior to staff review helping all applicants
- Delegating the issuance of Riparian and Hazard Land Development Permits to the Director of Development Services, in addition to the Façade DPs and DP amendments which are already delegated
- Completing conceptual design and cost analysis for expanding the Public Works/Engineering office to accommodate Development Services.
Future initiatives include:
- Preparing process guides and checklists for planning and subdivision applications
- Considering the recommended improvements regarding streamlining the committee referral process (APC, ADP, HRAC) following the Commissions and Committees Review which is currently underway