Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen pondering deadline on relevant public submitting feedback on development variances

Deadline on permit disputes

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is pondering a change to development variance permit application timelines that would see relevant members of the public have an earlier deadline for providing feedback.

As it stands, the RDOS has noticed an issue with property owners or tenants filing comments on proposed development permits "up to and during board meetings," according to staff, expecting that voting board members will have time to read their submissions before making a decision.

Staff now recommend the board initiate a process to amend the Development Procedure Bylaw to clarify the input timeline.

"The current practice of accepting representations up to and including the day of the board meeting at which a permit will be considered is misleading to the public and unfair to board members," reads the staff analysis which the board will consider Thursday.

"It sets no parameters as to when submissions must be received to leave sufficient time for the board to review the contents of a representation."

Staff recommend a deadline of seven days before the board meeting at which a development permit is due to be discussed for any citizen representation on the matter.

"This proposed change will, however, increase the processing times for [development variance permit] and [temporary use permit] applications. This is due to postal delivery times for notifications, and the need to ensure that property owners and tenants receive letters well in advance of the proposed deadline," the staff report reads.

"At present, the mailing of notifications occurs 10 working days (two weeks) prior to a board meeting. Consideration should be given to expand this timeline to 20 working days (four weeks)."

The board will discuss the matter and vote on Thursday.

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