City Launches Public Planning Workshops

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by Cody Stuart on Mar 25, 2013

The City is looking for public input as part of a broad-scale review of their planning process.

Governing everything from your neighbour’s deck project to building entire new communities, the planning system deeply impacts Calgary’s prosperity, sustainability and livability.

As part of the City’s Transforming Planning initiative, the City is holding a series of public workshops designed to share the “framework” that will be the new planning system, and solicit input into the design process.

“The whole intent of Transforming Planning is about truly transforming the current planning system, and that includes the current planning culture, so the environment in which the planning process exists in and the actual process meaning the intake of applications and the review of applications and the decisions rendered,” said Penny Taylor, Client Relationship Management and Stakeholder Engagement leader for Transformation Planning.

Launched in June 2012 by The City of Calgary’s Planning, Development & Assessment (PDA) department, is a partnership between stakeholders and City staff to design and deliver a “high-performing” planning system for Calgary.

Comprised of the Transforming Planning staff team, an internal advisory committee that includes the Mayor, two aldermen selected by Council, select City of Calgary general managers as well as applicants, industry and communities, the partnership is aimed at tackling some of the “challenges” faced by the city’s planning committee.

By the City’s own admission, those challenges have included concerns about attitudes and behaviours that result in troubled working relationships, overly complex processes and notions that the current system provides limited opportunities for discussion and interaction between stakeholders.

“We did one workshop last night. It was a smaller group, but they provided some examples of the challenges,” said Taylor of the feedback the partnership has heard thus far.

“We found that the conversation was quite respectful. People can very easily pinpoint examples of where things aren’t going right, but then what we try to do is attempt to say ‘In the new planning system, what pieces would have to be in place to prevent that from happening again and the conversation ended up bringing up a lot of great ideas.”

The workshops are free but registration- based – first come, first served – with more workshops to be added to accommodate any additional demand. April workshops will be listed on the City’s website as available. Those wishing to attend can register at TransformingPlanning.Eventbrite. Those unable to attend are encouraged to participate in an online survey to let the City know what you think about the future of planning.

Going forward, stakeholder input will be incorporated by the City’s Working Group and reflected in future upgrades of their system outline, as well as all other aspects of the initiative, including the Piloting Applications project.

Workshops:
Monday March 25th, 2013 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Development & Building Approvals – Eastlake Depot (11195 32 Street SE)

Wednesday March 27th, 2013 1:00pm – 3:30pm
City of Calgary Municipal Building – 800 MacLeod Trail S

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