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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Study of development control in Burnaby, B.C., Canada Raynor, Ashley Eugene

Abstract

The Corporation of the District of Burnaby, B.C., in recognition of its growing complexity and the expanding goals of its citizenry, adopted the Burnaby Zoning By-law #4742 in June of 1965. In section 7.3(i) it specifies that Preliminary Planning Approval (PPA) must be received from the Director of Planning before the issuance of a Building Permit. PPA is intended to ensure that the preliminary design drawings meet all of the provisions of the Zoning By-law, reflect Council policies and observe other relevant municipal by-laws. The system in Burnaby appears to be effective in obtaining a signed commitment from the developer agreeing to execute the project in accordance with the approved PPA drawings. It is after this point that the present system appears to break down— 76% of projects constructed 1974 -1976 were not completed exactly according to the approved design drawings. Most of the variance occurs in finishes, details and landscaping as opposed to siting, bulk and use regulations, and is such that the environmental criteria which could have been met by the faithful execution of the approved plans, is not being met. This reduces environmental standards below that which is being approved on the PPA drawings. The purpose of this study is: (1) to show why compliance is necessary/desirable; (2) to understand the problem and suggest possible remedies. The findings confirm that PPA compliance is desirable for the following reasons: the short term achievement of each of 48 community objectives is directly dependent upon compliance to the PPA drawings; one change in any of nine compliance categories can adversely affect the short term achievement of many objectives; compliance is not advantageous to only one group to the exclusion of all others, rather it is mutually beneficial to at least three major groups (the Municipality, the general public and developers) in eight compliance categories and to two groups in the ninth; compliance can offer a number of advantages to the Municipality, the general public and developers' and no major disadvantages have been found to indicate that compliance should not be encouraged. The findings also confirm that compliance is critical for the achievement of many community objectives. It has been found that 38 of the 48 objectives discussed cannot be achieved by alternative devices independently of the PPA process. The examination of the present development control system from PPA application to completion shows that variation from the approved drawings can occur because of bureaucratic errors, unfamiliarity with the PPA drawings, ignorance of proper amendment procedures, blatant disregard for the drawings and peculiar site conditions. It was then found that the current: system can be adapted to deal with the first three potential sources of non-compliance; but the system is currently incapable of effectively dealing with blatant disregard for the drawings or peculiar site conditions, nor can it easily adapt. These observations resulted in several recommendations.

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