In November 2018 the British Columbia Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing initiated a Development Approvals Process Review (DAPR) to examine current challenges and potential opportunities for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of local government development approvals processes. Specifically, the Ministry initiated DAPR as part of its “commitment to empower local governments to eliminate barriers to affordable housing and accelerate the construction of homes people need.”
The review included representatives from local government, the development and building industry, housing non-profit organizations, academia, and professional associations who provided input into a Working Group and four regional technical committees across the province. PIBC was represented at the Working Group level with several professional planners participating at the regional technical committee meetings between December 2018 and June 2019.
The final report was released by Minister Selena Robinson on September 25, 2019 and is available through the following link:
While the comments received were diverse, several general themes emerged from the process:
- Consider additional delegation authority in legislation
- Improve public consultation processes, especially public hearings
- Consider the scope and use of development cost charges and community amenity contributions.
- Improve the subdivision approval process, role of approving officers, and requirements for parkland dedication.
- Improve coordination of referrals to provincial and other agencies
- Improve overall understanding of the development approvals process through training, guides and resources, and cross-jurisdictional research.
The report acknowledges the review was a “first step in a longer-term evaluation of opportunities”, the next stage will require a “thoughtful evaluation of the range of identified opportunities” and recommends ongoing collaboration with stakeholders is needed in a subsequent phase of the process.
Members are encouraged to review the report and learn more. PIBC will continue to monitor this process, and has expressed our willingness to continue to actively participate in subsequent stages of this important work on behalf of the planning profession.