Tips for watching status of rezoning & development applications that affect you

cov-dpb-schedule-as-of-21-oct-2016

The DPB has a very light schedule as of Nov 2, with the only  remaining meetings in 2016 being on Nov 28 and Dec 12. At the moment, no one knows what will appear on these agendas, other than 1345 Davie.

For anyone watching developments in the City, it is wise to watch not only the rezoning applications (www.vancouver.ca/rezapps) and development applications (www.vancouver.ca/devapps) web pages but also the agendas for the Urban Design Panel (UDP) and Development Permit Board (DPB), which can change frequently. In addition, the DPB periodically updates a list of applications scheduled for a future meeting (this permanent link is sometimes the only way for the public to get an advance “heads up”: http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/committees/current-development-applications-development-permit-board.pdf), but even then, at the moment only one item is known (see screenshot).

Sometimes the only way anyone will learn that an item that affects them is appearing for a decision will be to watch these pages. This vigilance is of extra importance in projects, sometimes major ones, that go straight to the 4-person internal DPB without a Public Hearing. These days, that is happening a lot in the West End as many city blocks were massively rezoned at one time in 2014 with the West End Community Plan. In many cases, the only opportunity for the public to provide input face-to-face with the decision-makers is to address the DPB.

Our screenshot (top of this post) of the current “Current Development Applications Scheduled for Development Permit Board Consideration” shows that as of today only one application is currently scheduled for the DPB for rest of this year. The light schedule may be to give the newly hired chief planner, Gill Kelley, to get up to speed for 2017. (Note that he speaks to the public on November 3 at a lunchtime meeting at SFU Downtown.)

Regarding other ways to watch for development and rezoning applications, watch your streets and newspapers for notices. The weekly Vancouver Courier carries a list of city meetings roughly every two weeks. Also, notice signs are supposed to show up on the proposed rezoning and development sites, but often the signs do not appear in a timely way, and even then, they are often known to be placed in a less obvious location, and very often do not provide information about the time of a crucial upcoming meeting, even a DPB meeting or Public Hearing.

In summary, vigiliance is the name of the game for citizens who care about their community and how it changes, and who want to have a say in decisions that affect their cherished neighbourhoods.

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