Site plan authority moved from Council to Town staff

·3 min read

Shelburne Town Council will no longer have authority to approve site plan applications as of July 1.

Town planner, Steve Wever, presented a report to council during their June 13 meeting about delegating site plan approval authority to town staff members due to the introduction of the More Homes for Everyone Act by the province.

“As of July 1, municipal councils in Ontario will no longer have the ability to approve site plans. If you want to continue to have the ability as a municipality to approve site plans you have to appoint staff to undertake that” said Wever.

The provincial government introduced the More Homes for Everyone Act, also known as Bill 109, on March 30 and received royal assent on April 14. The intent of the legislation is to reduce the timelines for planning processes and make it easier and faster to build different types of homes.

“What it will mean for council is rather than me coming to you with a report of the overall site plan, a summary of what the site plan involves and a draft agreement; all of the approval of the drawings, all of the execution of the agreement and review of the agreement terms would occur through staff. The mayor would still need to be called in to sign the final site plan agreement when it’s ready,” explained Wever. “There won’t be that step in between of going to report to council to seek authority to have that agreement on a case-by-case basis.”

Council has delegated site plan approval authority to the director of development and operations for the approval of plans and drawings as well as imposing conditions such as road widening.

“It’s kind of the way it’s being done already. It’s formally council that has been approving those, but it’s really on the basis of staff review of those plans,” said Wever.

Council also appointed the director of legislative services/clerk to approve site plan agreements. The mayor and clerk are authorized to sign site plan agreements and any documents required to implement conditions of approval.

The key requirement of a site plan is to make sure the site will be developed in accordance with the municipal standards such as zoning and in accordance with any upper tier governments.

Wever said cases where the site plan does not comply with the standards will still need to go before council for approval.

All other application types including rezoning, minor variance, consent application and subdivisions applications will continue to go before council.

The report notes that council will continue to have access to site plan applications and will be able to provide comments, but will not be part of the decision-making process.

Site plan applications submitted on or after July 1 will go through the town staff approval process. Remaining applications currently in process with the Town will go before council on June 27.

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press

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