How can I find the zoning of a piece of property in my neighbourhood?
You can contact a Client Service Centre and ask to speak to a Development Information Officer.
Can I make an appointment to meet with a City Planner to discuss a particular development application?
Yes. You can meet with the assigned Planner to discuss a specific development application. Call 3-1-1 and ask to speak to a Development Information Officer who can direct you to the Planner for your neighbourhood or the neighbourhood in which the proposed development is located. You will also find the assigned Planner's name (both English and French speaking), their telephone number and extension on the on-site sign. Often a telephone call will suffice, but if you wish to meet with the Planner that can also be arranged.
If I have objections to a particular development application should I deal with the planner, the Ward Councillor or both?
If you have objections to a development application, it's a good idea to talk to both a Planner and your Ward Councillor. In this way, you are sure that your comments and concerns are being heard at different levels within the City and hopefully resolved to your satisfaction.
Should my community organization contact the applicant or developer directly or go through the Planner?
It's best to contact the assigned Planner because this person has all the information regarding the development application and can give you direction on how best to obtain further information from the applicant.
What influence can I have when an application is made to develop a vacant piece of land that has been zoned for the projected use but has been vacant and used by the community as open space for a long period of time?
Quite often, pieces of land will remain vacant for several years until such time as the owner of the land decides to develop the property. Although the land has been vacant, the zoning for the proposed development may have been in place for years.
Because the land is vacant and has been used by the surrounding community as an open space this does not mean it is zoned for that purpose. The owner has the right to develop the property in accordance with the original zoning. However, the City encourages dialogue between developers and community organizations. Through dialogue, it is often possible to make changes to a proposed development that makes it more compatible with the community's wishes
Large development applications usually have technical studies associated with them. Can my community request copies of a certain study?
Yes. Your community organization representative can request copies of any technical study associated with a development application. These requests should be made through the assigned Planner responsible for the development application in which you or your community organization is interested.
What are those white signs that I see posted on a property in my community?
Under the Public Notification and Consultation Policy, a sign must be posted on the property that is the subject of a certain development application. These on-site signs are another means by which the City informs citizens in the surrounding community about development proposals and applications. The City has an on-site signage procedure that ensures a consistent standard for the content, format, production, installation, maintenance and removal of these on-site signs.
Should a community organization retain the services of their own planner or lawyer?
Certainly there have been situations in the past when community organizations have retained their own planning and legal advisors to give them opinions and advice on a particular development application or a planning issue of concern to the community. If your community organization feels strongly enough about an issue, retaining professional expertise to assist them may be an option to consider.