Not so long ago, LynnValleyLife told readers about a public information meeting that Polygon Properties was holding to discuss a potential redevelopment of the land at the southwest corner of Mountain Highway and 27th.

The event was held in the community room at Silver Harbour Centre, and attendees could browse displays showing the proposed townhome development, ask questions of Polygon staff and North Van District community planners, and help themselves to cold drinks and gigantic cookies.

It was just one of many steps in the road that will need to occur before this development either goes ahead or is rejected by council. Polygon is no stranger to the process – they are the developers behind the ‘Branches’ complex just further down the street – but they won’t be the only company looking for opportunities to take part in the re-creation of Lynn Valley’s town centre.

That being the case, we thought it would be helpful to sketch out the ‘A to Z’ path that must be followed when developers put forward an application that requires the rezoning of a property. As you’ll see, there are a variety of opportunities for public input, ‘tweaks’ to the proposals, and consideration by District staff and council. (A big thanks to Tamsin Guppy, NVD Community Planner, for all her help!)

1. The first step occurs when the ‘proponent’, or applicant, applies for a Preliminary Application, which is a two-month process and involves a staff review, site visit, and soliciting input from the immediate neighbours and the local community association.  The results of the review are then provided to the applicant so that they can address key issues as they work on their detailed drawings in readiness for applying for a detailed rezoning and/or development permit.

2. Next, the applicant submits a detailed rezoning application to the District.

3. The Planning Department swings into action, and coordinates a review of the application by staff and advisory bodies.

4. The Planning Department alerts Council of the applicant’s intention to hold a public information meeting in the affected neighbourhood.

5. A public information meeting is organized by the applicant and held in the neighbourhood.

6. District staff prepare a detailed report on the application, which will include a summary of feedback from the public information meeting. The report recommends that Council either reject the application, or it recommends that Council introduce a rezoning bylaw and set a public hearing date. Council may also choose to request some revisions at this point.

7. If the application is not rejected, a rezoning bylaw is introduced and a public hearing is held to allow feedback from neighbours and other affected parties.

8. Following the public hearing, the bylaw is returned to council.  Council may request some clarification on issues raised at the public hearing, reject the bylaw entirely, or proceed to give it a second and third reading.

9. In a final vote, Council either adopts the Zoning bylaw and allows the development to take place, or defeats it.  (Usually, a bylaw returns for final adoption once all the issues have been addressed and the designs are ready for the Development Permit to be issues, so normally a bylaw returns for final adoption and issuance of the Development Permit.)

For a good description of what goes on at a public hearing, and tips on how you can get your views across effectively and appropriately, check out this page on the North Van District site. While you’re there, browse around and see all the other municipal tidbits that are there for the taking… previous Council minutes and presentations (video clips, too!), parks maps, upcoming public hearing schedules, updated water restrictions, dog-related bylaws, and lots more close-to-home news.