The contract planners hired on in late 2019 towards the city's Official Community Plan work, have seemingly been busy tackling a number of areas of note for City Council these last few months.
With tonight's Prince Rupert Council session featuring four reports which the iPlan planning consultants have compiled for review.
The first report will actually bring third and final reading towards City Council's plan to introduce the Downtown Core Revitalization Tax Exemption program and the bylaws to put it in place.
The proposal, first suggested last summer by iPlan found and chief planner Rob Buchan, was the subject of some extensive fine tuning at the last Council session, with the required amendments put in place, Council members could move it towards implementation this evening.
The three other reports come from iPlan assistant planner Chris Buchan and explore proposed changes towards a number of areas of the Official Community Plan
As we noted earlier today, Included in the review for tonight is an extensive overhaul for the city's parking standards both in the commercial, retail and educational sectors, as well as for residential areas.
The remaining two reports will offer up recommendations towards the proposed Development approval Information Bylaw, its focus is to establish the policy and procedures for the City to require such development approval information.
In the background to the document, Mr. Buchan notes that: The ability to require information and reports for qualified professionals will allow the City to address potential impacts for developments and establish approval conditions that minimize or mitigate these impacts.
The final report from the iPlan group will propose Update Development Procedures.
As the background to the proposed change notes:
The document will create a more efficient process that will reduce the timeframe for application processing. The delegation of DP approvals is a common practice in British Columbia municipalities. The updated Bylaw includes provisions for an Applicant to request that Council reconsider the Staff decision regarding a permit application.
It is proposed to adjust the OCP and Zoning Bylaw amendment process to combine the first and second reading within the same Council meeting. This will expedite the process for amendment approval’s by removing the need for an additional Council meeting. It is also proposed to include public consultation prior to the first reading. This will provide more information and transparency to the public on any OCP or Zoning Bylaw amendment prior to a Council meeting/reading.
Council members will have a change to discuss the reports with the start of the 7PM session.
The iPlan group have been providing for much of the city's planning work since the spring of last year when it was announced that the City's in house Civic planner Zeno Krekic had retired.
Since that time in early summer, City Council has not indicated if they have any plans to rebuild the planning department with city staff; or if the use of a contract planner may be the future of planning in the community.
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