Development Approvals Process Review

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In February 2023, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) launched the Development Approvals Process Review (DAPR) project to critically examine the Regional District's development review and approvals process. The purpose of this page is to provide the community with information on the project and a forum to ask questions.

Please note, the DAPR project is sometimes referred to in Committee meetings and staff reports as Planning Enhancement Project 1 (PEP1).


The Project

The SCRD is one of 43 local governments that received grant funding through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to partake in the provincially-initiated Development Approvals Process Review (DAPR) program. DAPR was initiated by the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in collaboration with various stakeholders, to address challenges and identify opportunities for improvement in the current development approvals process and to support local governments in eliminating barriers to affordable housing and accelerate the construction of the homes they need in their communities.

The grant funding has enabled the SCRD to hire KPMG, an experienced leader in organizational planning and business management, to review our development-related processes and identify opportunities to make application process more efficient and easier to navigate. KPMG is working with several other local governments on their DAPR projects, enabling the SCRD to learn about the successful tactics employed by others who face similar development challenges.

Together, we will review the operational steps and decision-making staff perform in consideration of approving development, from the pre-application phase to the issuance of the building permit. KPMG will support staff to implement best practices and to test innovative approaches to improve development approvals processes while meeting SCRD planning and policy objectives. The project culminates in a Final Report made up of recommendation on how to improve SCRD development approvals processes and includes an action plan on how to implement the recommendations.

Key Objectives

  • Achieve alignment with provincial regulations
  • Enhance clarity and predictability through the development process
  • Improve the customer and staff experience
  • Strengthen linkages between the SCRD’s priorities and the role of the development process in implementing them

The DAPR Final Report is now complete. The report and recommendations will be presented to the SCRD Committee of the Whole on July 27, 2023 at 9:30 AM. Click here to view the Committee Agenda and click here to watch the Committee meeting live on YouTube.

Click here to review the DAPR Final Report.

In February 2023, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) launched the Development Approvals Process Review (DAPR) project to critically examine the Regional District's development review and approvals process. The purpose of this page is to provide the community with information on the project and a forum to ask questions.

Please note, the DAPR project is sometimes referred to in Committee meetings and staff reports as Planning Enhancement Project 1 (PEP1).


The Project

The SCRD is one of 43 local governments that received grant funding through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to partake in the provincially-initiated Development Approvals Process Review (DAPR) program. DAPR was initiated by the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in collaboration with various stakeholders, to address challenges and identify opportunities for improvement in the current development approvals process and to support local governments in eliminating barriers to affordable housing and accelerate the construction of the homes they need in their communities.

The grant funding has enabled the SCRD to hire KPMG, an experienced leader in organizational planning and business management, to review our development-related processes and identify opportunities to make application process more efficient and easier to navigate. KPMG is working with several other local governments on their DAPR projects, enabling the SCRD to learn about the successful tactics employed by others who face similar development challenges.

Together, we will review the operational steps and decision-making staff perform in consideration of approving development, from the pre-application phase to the issuance of the building permit. KPMG will support staff to implement best practices and to test innovative approaches to improve development approvals processes while meeting SCRD planning and policy objectives. The project culminates in a Final Report made up of recommendation on how to improve SCRD development approvals processes and includes an action plan on how to implement the recommendations.

Key Objectives

  • Achieve alignment with provincial regulations
  • Enhance clarity and predictability through the development process
  • Improve the customer and staff experience
  • Strengthen linkages between the SCRD’s priorities and the role of the development process in implementing them

The DAPR Final Report is now complete. The report and recommendations will be presented to the SCRD Committee of the Whole on July 27, 2023 at 9:30 AM. Click here to view the Committee Agenda and click here to watch the Committee meeting live on YouTube.

Click here to review the DAPR Final Report.

DAPR Q&A

Do you have a question about the Development Approvals Process Review (DAPR) project? Share your DAPR related questions below.  

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    The Halfmoon Bay Community Development Forum (CDF) has some questions related to the Development Approvals Process Review (PEP1). First, a general point. Communities where development is happening are also an important external stakeholder to this process, with specific issues and concerns that may differ from those working on the development side. We note that KPMG did not consult any involved community groups and hope this will be corrected during the remainder of the exercise. Our question is whether the following three issues will be covered in PEP1, including recommendations to the SCRD on how to address them? As it’s not possible to insert hyperlinks in this box, you will find the referenced correspondence on this webpage: Halfmoon Bay Community Association (HBCA) | Community Development Forum – Our Work (halfmoon-bay.ca). We will share your responses with the CDF volunteer group. Issue 1: Can the SCRD put in place a mechanism to ensure that expert studies provided by developers can be professionally vetted by external experts when needed? This may be required for developer’s studies that concern locations that are high-risk or are highly contentious with the local community, and/or are in technical areas where the SCRD does not have sufficient in-house expertise to assess them. One option is for the SCRD to have a budget to cover independent expert peer reviews as needed. The CDF has raised this issue with the SCRD a few times over the past year: - our email of 14 November 2022 which states that “The SCRD does not appear to have ‘minimum’ standards for technical reports, lacks some of the technical expertise needed to vet these, and lacks transparent mechanisms to accommodate a community request for an independent peer review. Given increased risks related to climate change and the growing number of large development proposals, there is a need for more rigorous and vetted expert assessments to accompany these proposals.” The email recommends that the SCRD ” Develop(s) minimum standards for the content and quality of expert studies provided by developers, and an expert process for vetting them. Determine(s) the trigger and funding mechanisms for peer review.” - the email of 3 October 2022 by Truman Road residents, which expressed serious concerns about the impacts of a developer's OCP amendment and rezoning application to upzone a 17 acre lot for higher density housing. Residents have flagged that the original set of technical reports provided to the SCRD by the developer have “gaps and weaknesses, to the detriment of the neighborhood”. This is followed by a request that the SCRD “commission independent expert opinions on the hydrogeological and environmental impacts (including risks and mitigation) on the wider neighborhood of higher-density housing”. Issue 2: Can the SCRD strengthening enforcement tools to make them as effective as provincial legislation will allow? This would cover areas where bylaw infringements may occur before and during the development application process approved (of which there are many examples). See CDF email of 14 November 2022. Some penalties are not severe enough to deter developers and property owners (e.g. tree cutting, damage to protected areas). A suggestion is to compare relevant SCRD penalties against provincial legislation to ensure they are currently set at the maximum allowed. Where the SCRD’s experience has been that the penalties are an insufficient deterrent, the SCRD should request an amendment to provincial legislation to raise the ceiling. Related to this, the lack of a feedback loop to residents on the status of bylaw complaints has caused frustration and confusion in the community about progress and outcomes. This can be addressed by introducing an on-line tracking tool for bylaw infraction complaints, like those in some other jurisdictions (ex. Vancouver). Issue 3: Can the SCRD provide user-friendly online access to active zoning or development applications to help residents understand what the developer is requesting, the status of the application, and what has been approved? See CDF email of 14 November 2022. The new SCRD website does not (yet) have this. Rather than bombarding the SCRD with calls, visits and emails, residents would benefit from online access to active zoning or development applications to understand what is being requested or has been approved (ex. Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen , and Nanaimo Regional District both has this on-line). Thanks, and we look forward to hearing back from you.

    Darlene Tymo asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your questions. The answers below are based on the issue numbering in your submission:

    1. Professional reliance and validation are being considered in this project, and recommendations will be provided in the final report.
    2. Penalty for bylaw infraction is not considered to be directly related to the development review process. It could be considered in a review of SCRD’s bylaw enforcement strategy and regulations. Communicating bylaw enforcement status to the public has implication on privacy and confidentiality. Whether or not this could be implemented would require careful consideration by the SCRD.
    3. Methods to communicate development application status to the public are being considered in this project, and recommendations will be provided in the final report.
Page last updated: 21 Feb 2024, 11:39 AM