The Development Industry Liaison Commmittee meet this morning at City Hall.
Two items of particular note (which I'll hopefully find time to write more fully about) were parking zoning changes and staff presence at Development Review Team meetings.
City staff provided the committee with a memo outlining proposed changes to Hamilton's parking zoning bylaws. (Read the 8-page Memo)
Some of the highlights:
Parking stall sizes are expected to be heard by the Planning Committee on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.
The Hamilton-Halton Homebuilders Association's Executive Officer Suzanne Mammel brought forth concerns about key City staff not being presenting during Development Review Team (DRT) meetings.
DRT is part of the City planning process. The goal of DRT is to bring all commenting City departments (division in internal City Hall language) together with developers experts to discuss potential issues with a development application and reach solutions to move the development forward in a timely and cost effective matter.
In recent years, it has become common for some departments within Public Works to send letters instead of representatives - requesting developers schedule separate meetings with PW staff.
Developers pay significant hourly rates to have their lawyers, architects, engineers, planners, and others present at DRT. When City staff are not present, and request separate future meetings, the developer is forced to pay their experts again. There is also the opportunity cost of delays in the process.
General Manager of Planning and Economic Development Jason Thorne told the committee that he'll look into the matter, agreeing that it is important for all staff commenting on a development application to be present at DRT.
Recent hiring freezes implemented by Council are causing increased workloads for staff; and for some of the specialized engineers in Public Works, sitting during an entire DRT can be time-consuming and this may explain why they are not attending.
Thorne will be responding back to concerns at a future DILC meeting.