Town’s planning and development practices being examined

The first phase of a review of the town’s planning and development department has been initiated following concerns voiced

The first phase of a review of the town’s planning and development department has been initiated following concerns voiced during last fall’s election.

“During the municipal election campaign, we heard a lot of comments about standards that were too restrictive and development approvals that took too much time to approve,” said Mayor Sean McIntyre in a media release. “I’m confident that during this review we can work together to ensure a balance of supportive, high quality development in our community.”

Many voters identified a “desire for a review of current planning and development department procedures and standards, identifying such items as the town’s Pattern Book as an opportunity for change,” said the release.

The consulting team of McKay Finnigan & Associates was engaged to “review current development permit procedures, as well as facilitate a discussion with local developers about potential opportunities for the town to improve efficiency and service”.

Sessions were held last week with staff and with developers.

The facilitator will forward a report to the town and return in March for a follow-up on the sessions, Betty Osmond, the town’s chief administrative officer, reported to council Jan. 27.