Esquimalt eyes easing development hurdles

  • Apr. 24, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Neighbours mingle about, chatting with one another on a vacant lot in Esquimalt. They’ve come to give their thoughts on a proposed duplex, perhaps an apartment complex.

This is the vision of Esquimalt council, which hopes to make things easier for developers when they seek public input on their rezoning and official community plan applications.

Council is considering a review of policy Plan-25, adopted in 1996 to encourage discussions between developers and residents.

Some developers have expressed frustration over the difficulty of finding a meeting location, and someone to chair it – both municipal requirements.

“Often, after the applicant has spent considerable time and money organizing these meetings, they are attended by only a few persons, if any,” Barbara Snyder, Esquimalt’s director of development services, wrote in her report.

“This is a real deterrent,” Mayor Barb Desjardins said at a recent committee of the whole meeting. “Time is money.”

Some of the more successful meetings have been held at the proposed development site, where residents can get a better visual of plans, Snyder wrote.