In 2014, I placed multiple motions with specific recommendations to overhaul the Committee of Adjustment, including:
- The establishment of professional training for CoA members
- Better engagement of residents
- Improvements to the public notices and notification process
This year, there are plans to hold training sessions for CoA members in all four districts. This training will focus on the Neighbourhoods policy of the city’s Official Plan to ensure that CoA members are more attune to and respectful of the needs and desires of our local neighbourhoods, which will hopefully result in more consistent decision-making.
City Planning is also planning to host a roundtable discussion this year with resident groups in each district to discuss outreach strategies and how the CoA can be more accessible and user-friendly.
Furthermore, as a result of recent meetings I’ve had with City Planning staff, the notice sign is also being redesigned to make it more visible. In addition, staff are exploring other strategies, such as better use of technology, to improve the public notice process altogether.
Lastly, I’ve been a longtime advocate for the audio-visual recording of CoA meetings, which finally came to fruition last fall. Currently, the city is working to enable livestreaming of CoA panels on Planning’s YouTube page by the end of the summer – this will increase the accountability of the CoA and allow residents to follow the proceedings in real time.