The Municipal Election is on October 15th in B.C. and it is Really Important.
Here is a list of 10 issues that would be helpful to discuss with candidates:
- Increasing complexity of sites
- Difficulty with role clarity between government agencies
- Public and stakeholder interests
- Clarity on the land use approvals process
- Transportation and public realm plans
- Indigenous engagement
- Construction costs and labour shortage
- Inflation and interest rates
- Market conditions
- Rising land value
There are over 20 municipalities in the Lower Mainland, with nearly 200 candidates running for office. Most candidates have no experience in land development.
Over the next 10 days, you have an important role! There is strong value for Council candidates and stakeholders to hear from leaders working in private development, government, and non-profit organizations.
Land development is complex, no two sites or projects are the same. So, telling your story is helpful.
Candidates can benefit from you sharing what is on your mind and what you are seeing in the community, as well as your strategic thinking. Effective communication, now and going forward, can have an important impact for you and for others.
No matter how much your team loves your project, it will need political support to be approved. There has been a lack of political support for housing in the past four years in many municipalities, which has had tragic impacts on housing affordability and has impacted retention in the B.C. labour market.
Some project leaders are tempted to point a finger at the land use approvals team. Our experience is that pointing your finger at staff is totally ineffective – these staff members generally want to see your project succeed. There has never been more turnover and more shortages of staff in government, and by offering your support, you will help your project move forward.
We recommend that you:
- Follow the election. Fully understand what a new political context means for your project. Listen, connect, and find the truth about approvals risks and opportunities.
- Commit to working in partnership. Resource your team so that you will present staff with complete and easy to approve land use submissions. Offer to do what you can to support government staff in their work to prepare a decision on your project.