A new bylaw is in the works that will make it possible for the Local Trust Committee (LTC) to require developers to explain the impact of their proposed development.
At the June 28 LTC meeting at the WI Hall, Planner Chloe Fox recommended that the committee implement a Development Approval Information (DAI) bylaw in conjunction with work currently underway on establishing development permit (DP) requirements for hazardous and riparian areas.
Trustee Sheila Malcolmson asked if the proposed bylaw would encompass all of Gabriola’s development permit areas (DPA) – Planner Chloe Fox said this would be the most effective approach.
Trustee Gisele Rudischer noted that a DAI bylaw would require information for “all development applications, so it’s more complicated than just covering DPAs”. Fox said it would cover rezonings, development permits, and temporary use permits. Rudischer said that meant any sort of development. Regional Planning Manager Chris Jackson said it wouldn’t cover applications for variance permits.
LTC Chair David Graham clarified that the DAI bylaw would allow the LTC to ask for “information which they wouldn’t normally be able to incorporate into the permit”. He said it “makes it a better permit really”. Fox said the bylaw “is your hammer to get the information you need to make the decision”. Asked by Rudischer how they have been getting the information up until now, Regional Planning Manager Chris Jackson said “requesting”. He said legislatively the DAI bylaw is the mechanism to use to require the information be provided.
Asked how this will impact on staff time, Jackson admitted it will add to the time needed to do the DP work currently in process, but added that staff recommended doing it anyway. Trustee Sheila Malcolmson said establishing a DAI bylaw has been on the LTC work program for years. She added that North Pender Island has already created a DAI bylaw, which Gabriola could use as a model.
She said the Gabriola LTC has not needed this bylaw for past applications for temporary use permits, as applicants have provided the information because they wanted to get their permits. She said the bylaw would “give applicants a heads up about what kinds of studies they are required to do, so it is a bit more transparent”.
The LTC resolved to make the creation of the new bylaw their second work priority after the Official Community Plan review.
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