Few areas of life haven’t been been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that includes the approval process for rezoning and development.
The City of Vancouver launched its first “virtual” open houses earlier this week on a new engagement platform called Shape Your City.
Posting development and rezoning applications online is nothing new in Vancouver. The enhanced Shape Your City platform takes it one step further with building model photos, architect contact information and the opportunity to submit questions in a Q&A format with replies within two business days.
“We’re going from holding a single event where staff shares information with individuals one-on-one, to having a longer online Q&A with City staff and all content, slides, and modelling available,” says Gil Kelley, general manager of planning, urban design and sustainability at the City of Vancouver. “This new format provides many accessibility benefits and we’re excited to provide the public with a more interactive, convenient, and informative way to participate in our decision making.”
Those who leave feedback are asked to select their position on an application: Support, Opposed or Mixed, and can also sign up to receive email updates.
Users must register and provide their name and postal code.
All comments submitted on the platform will be summarized in a staff report for council and made public.
An estimated 233,600 people are employed in the property development industry across B.C., both directly and indirectly.
“As part of our recovery efforts we’re continuing to process and review rezoning applications to help generate employment and meet urgent housing needs,” reads a statement from the city.