The Manitoba Government, responding to calls from industry and residents, have introduced a new appeal process to development applications.
The Manitoba government introduced legislative changes to the Planning Amendment and City of Winnipeg Charter Amendment Act that would streamline land-use planning, reduce red tape and modernize building inspection processes, Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke announced Monday.
“Stakeholders expect greater clarity and transparency around the land-use planning process to prevent development from being stalled. They also want a ‘level playing field’ for applicants regardless of where they live in the province,” said Clarke. “These proposed amendments will make things much easier for municipalities and the public by reducing red tape and streamlining processes.”
The proposed amendments include:
establishing secondary plan bylaw requirements that are currently used in the city of Winnipeg and placing them within the same appeal parameters as other development processes;
aligning the City of Winnipeg’s development plan hearing notification requirements with the rest of the province;
ensuring timelines on planning application/processes can be extended in all municipalities with the agreement of the applicant, avoiding unnecessary appeals;
requiring municipalities to notify applicants, within 20 days, if their planning application is complete to reduce uncertainty;
updating the deadline for appeals to the Municipal Board on subdivisions, aggregate quarries and large-scale livestock operations to 14 days from 30 days to make them consistent with other appeal processes;
enabling the City of Winnipeg to engage third-party building and fire inspectors to provide the same alternative service delivery mechanism as provided for municipalities outside Winnipeg; and
alleviating unnecessary administrative burdens on the City of Winnipeg, property owners and the court system by removing duplicate sinking fund audit requirements and reducing red tape in relation to demolition and around substitutional service provisions for compliance/demolition orders on land in tax arrears.
“These changes are significant, and address the feedback we received through our government survey conducted on planning, zoning and permitting,” said Clarke. “The changes proposed are significant, but necessary to modernize and streamline planning in the long term.”
The minister noted government would also be required to review the planning amendments by Oct. 29, 2024, and to table a report in the legislative assembly within one year of the review to ensure outcomes are being achieved.