Public notice recommendations under consideration

Changes could be coming to how the city provides public notice on controversial closures, developments and amendments.

At Monday’s executive committee meeting, city councillors approved four recommendations governing the way walkway changes, Discretionary Use Development Permits and zoning bylaw amendments are considered.

The items still need to receive formal approval at the next city council meeting.

The changes would mean the city’s planning and development services director would be able to approve public meetings at walkway sites slated for closure. It would also allow controversial Discretionary Use Development Permits and zoning bylaw amendments discussed at public meetings before council formally considers them. The meetings will include the applicant, as well as city representatives.

According to a report presented to the executive committee on Monday, council already has the authority to request additional public notice time. However, the report calls the bylaw useful, but not completely adequate.

“By the time controversial matters reach a city council meeting, the issues have been blown out of proportion or rumours relating to any specific permit have been started,” the report reads. “In this sense, taking a pro-active approach to these types of applications will be beneficial. Diffusing issues prior to city council meetings is our priority.”

For the rest of this story, please see the July 26 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.