This is a difficult period for the Planning Department. Whether it’s the impact of COVID or staffing levels, there is currently a 6-9 month delay in processing applications. Regardless of how the Township got to this place, there needs to be immediate changes to relieve this situation. Here are just a few actionable points:
- Better notification to residents on the situation. Currently, the only note of this delay is near the end of the August Georgian Bay Times newsletter. This should be sent out via social media, email to the cottage associations, and communicated to other stakeholders across the Township.
- Fast track changes to allow for self-serve tasks/processes on the website. The Township is currently discussing these with Blackline consultants, but this needs to be a top priority.
- Engage in third party planning consultants to help with some of the more straightforward applications to keep construction moving forward where possible – and let the in-house expertise focus on the more complex applications.