Wednesday, March 6, 2024

March 4 Council Notes: Enhancing Development Application Notice and Feedback Process, 2024 Budget Adopted, Delegation

Monday night's Langley City Council meeting was brief. It started with a delegation titled "Working for Peace in the Middle East." You can request a delegation if you'd like to present to Council. For more information about delegations, please visit Langley City's website.

Council also gave final reading and adopted this year's budget and 2024 – 2028 Financial Plan. You can read more about this in a previous post.

It is now illegal for local governments to hold public hearings for residential rezoning bylaws. As a result, Langley City gave first, second, and third reading to update our Development Application Procedures Bylaw to align with provincial law.

The new procedure bylaw also enhanced how people are informed about rezoning requests, development permits, and development variance permits. At the start of a development application, the City proposes that information signs be posted within 30 days of receiving an application. This change means development application signs will likely be up for months instead of weeks.

The signs will provide information about the proposed application and a unique link to the City's website where anyone can learn more about the application and view drawings. For people without access to the Internet, it will also provide information on how they can view the information in person at City Hall.

A new section of Langley City's website will allow people to track the progress of all active development applications (including when they come to Council for consideration). The section will include drawings and contact information for the development applicant and City staff so people can provide feedback and ask questions.

Council cannot hold public hearings or create new public hearing-like processes. Under the proposed changes to Langley City's development application process, Council will receive a general summary of public feedback and how it has or has not been incorporated into development applications.

The problem with public hearings is that they happen late in the development application process, making it harder to incorporate feedback into a development project's design. By making it easier to ask questions and provide feedback and doing it earlier in the application process, it will increase the likelihood of that feedback being incorporated into a development project's design.

No comments: