Ontario Construction News staff writer
Kingston council has directed staff to investigate, and report back on the possibilities of reworking the schedule, meeting time, procedures and duration of planning committee meetings by looking into best practices and bylaws of comparable Ontario municipalities and holding a public engagement.
“Proposed changes aim to enhance how the committee functions,” says Derek Ochej, Acting deputy city clerk. “Community members can participate in committee meetings, and so their input is valuable in shaping these procedures.”
Staff identified several potential changes to the procedures and feedback can be provided in several ways including an online survey that is open until Aug. 5.
Planning Committee’s role is to report to council on applications submitted pursuant to the Planning Act, including Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendment applications. Meetings often involve lengthy, complex, and technical provincial regulations and municipal processes. The proposed changes seek to create more efficient meetings with regular breaks to improve the meeting experience for staff, committee members, applicants and the public.
City staff will compile survey responses with a review of other municipal planning committee structures and present a report to Council in September.