The Development Review Committee (DRC) meets every two weeks at City Hall to discuss proposed development projects. A project’s proponent is able to attend and this is a valuable opportunity to meet with the staff who would be involved in processing a subsequent application, and to discuss any concerns or questions. It is a relatively informal round-table discussion and a formal presentation by a proponent is not required, unless the proponent wishes to do so.
Staff attendance will typically cover planning, building, engineering and environment functions, although other City departments such as parks, roads, emergency services and utilities may also be represented, depending on whether a proposal is particularly relevant to those functions also. Staff will try to identify at this early stage the full range of applications or permits that will be required for the project, identify where any potential problems could lie, suggest ways the proponent can address issues, and advise on the process and likely timescales.
It is far better to have these discussions with staff at an early stage. This means that areas of concern can be addressed prior to making an application, which usually results in more certainty regarding the outcome, and quicker processing times. This of course benefits everybody.
To get the most out of a DRC meeting, a proponent should submit concept plans and any other relevant information to staff at least three days ahead of the meeting. The more information that staff are given, the more specific and detailed the advice can be. Staff will work with proponents and their agents to identify how a development proposal can be designed to add value to everyone. Much of this discussion will focus on the consistency with the environmental and design guidelines of the Official Community Plan.
Still will endeavour to give the best and most accurate advice during the DRC; however, there is no guarantee that every potential issue can be foreseen, or that further requests, changes or requirements will not be made at a later stage. Advice given at, or subsequent to, a DRC meeting is intended to be helpful, but is not binding on the City.
The reason for this is that it is only in the context of a formal application with all relevant information to hand can staff make a full professional assessment, which will also be informed by input from other agencies such as provincial government departments. It must be remembered that in most cases Council will determine an application, and staff provide only a recommendation, which may or may not be followed by Council.
If you wish to schedule a DRC meeting to discuss a development proposal, please contact the Development Services department on 250-286-5726 or by email at DevelopmentServices@campbellriver.ca