The December 14 meeting of the City’s Planning Committee will introduce an additional opportunity for public participation in the planning approvals process.
New to the process, members of the public will have the opportunity to speak, for up to five minutes, on comprehensive reports presented before the Planning Committee.
“This change aims to enhance public participation in the planning approvals process by allowing the public to speak during the time a staff recommendation is presented to Planning Committee” says Paige Agnew, director of Planning, Building & Licensing Services.
The City’s planning approval process, following the legislated requirements of the Planning Act and associated Ontario regulations, generally involves two presentations of an application before the Planning Committee. The first presentation is with a Statutory Public Meeting, where members of the public can provide verbal comments. The second presentation is with a comprehensive report. Before the introduction of this new opportunity, only Committee members could ask questions of staff, and not members of the public.
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Allowing all members of the public to speak when the comprehensive report is presented to the Planning Committee will permit full public participation at the later stage of the planning approvals process, which could help to better inform a planning decision.
This review process began as per a motion passed by Council on March 1, 2016. On April 3, 2017, staff hosted three focus group sessions followed by a Non-Statutory Public Meeting at the Planning Committee held on July 6, 2017. Based on the review of the options and the feedback received through the focus group sessions that were held, staff developed a recommendation that received Council approval on October 3, 2017.
For more information on the planning process please visit this City of Kingston page.