The timing couldn't be better for West Village Towers, a large development that City Council approved last October. The project will add 584 much-needed residential units, up to two storeys of commercial uses, and likely an urban supermarket to the west end of Calgary’s Downtown. As an urban planner, I’m pleased to see how well this development aligns with our vision of a vibrant Centre City, and I’m excited about how efficiently we processed the applications for it – in half the time it would normally take!
|West Village rendering - Photo by Wexford Developments|
Concurrent applications were an idea that came out of Transforming Planning, and it is now being tested as we work to make that vision a reality. It reduces the time and expense required for developers trying to get a proposed development approved and it allows staff to evaluate it more holistically. This reduces the amount of red tape and allows needed housing to be built more quickly, without reducing the amount of input the public gets onto future development.
Typically, a rezoning can take up to six months to be approved, with the development permit taking another six months after that. We were able to complete both of these approvals with the West Village Towers in just over six months. But, taking less time is not the only thing concurrent applications accomplish. Holding these two processes together makes it easier to work collaboratively with developers and communities on a proposed development, because all aspects of it are being discussed at the same time.
|Joachim Mueller, Senior Planner|
Joachim Mueller is a Senior Planner with The City’s Planning, Development & Assessment department.