In a recent article published by the Mission Record titled “Decision Dubbed ‘Waterfront-gate’” there was mention about meetings between the District of Mission, the Mayor and a potential developer of land on the waterfront.
I feel the article missed some important context about what these meetings are, how they are conducted, who attends, and what they mean to the overall development application process.
It is common for developers to request a meeting with city officials before making a formal application. Developers do this in order to check in on the suitability of their intended development with the city, saving time before embarking on the formal development process by identifying issues early on. From the District’s perspective, we are looking at a potential development’s alignment with Mission’s Official Community Plan (OCP), compliance with relevant neighourhood plans, and fit with any upcoming planning processes.
Developers are frequently requesting meetings with the District for potential projects all over the community. It is also common for the Mayor to attend some of these meetings just as it is common for developers to meet individually with members of Council.
In the case of the waterfront, the District has held six in-person meetings for waterfront property owners since March 2018, in addition to several written updates, to inform landowners about the District’s intention to pursue land use planning once the Waterfront Comprehensive Area Planning designation was amended into the OCP.
A land use planning process does not mean developments cannot happen before the plan is finalized, but it does mean that collaboration needs to happen in order to consider the broader planning and infrastructure needs of this area.
There are many technical challenges to developing the waterfront and we have to work together to ensure the needs of all landowners and the broader community are considered. Land use planning in the waterfront means residents, landowners, business owners and other community stakeholders have an opportunity to influence the decisions about how the waterfront will take shape and what role these lands will have in our future.
I encourage you to find out more about the vision for the waterfront and the work done to date at:
District of Mission