The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is expediting the development variance permit application process for minor changes, and at less cost to the applicant.
At its Oct. 13 meeting, the regional district board approved several bylaw amendments to the CSRD’s development services procedures bylaw, allowing for the delegation of minor variance permits to staff, rather than requiring review and approval by the board.
“Effective immediately, the (CSRD) staff will be able to issue approvals for minor development variance permit applications,” said the CSRD in a media release.
The CSRD defines a “minor” variance as “a building setback variance of less than or equal to 50 per cent of the setback distance and where a hardship in complying with the existing regulations can be shown.”
Retaining walls are also included.
Public notice of these applications will be sent to owners and tenants within 30 metres (instead of 100) of the subject property to ensure the closest neighbours will be alerted and given the chance to provide comments on the application.
CSRD staff noted in a report to the board that a public hearing isn’t needed for applications consistent with the official community plan.
Issuance of a development variance permit for minor changes will not result in inappropriate development of the site, adversely affect the natural environment, substantially affect the use and enjoyment of adjacent land, vary permitted uses and densities under the applicable bylaw or defeat the intent of the bylaw, said staff.
With the proposed reduction to the notification area and the board not requiring a report and presentation from staff, the CSRD’s application fee is being reduced for minor variances from $650 to $500.
The policy changes received the board’s unanimous support.
“My comment written here is, ‘Yay! Go for it,’” said Area F director Jay Simpson.
Applicants with questions about the new policy can email the CSRD’s planning department or call 250-832-8194.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter