Conservation Ontario Council endorsed the Client Service and Streamlining Initiative at their April, 2019 Council meeting. The development of this Initiative represents a commitment to undertaking improvements to conservation authorities’ roles in municipal plan review services and permitting services, while providing for the continued protection of public health and safety, and the environment. Through the Initiative, conservation authorities have identified three ways that they can streamline their approval activities and reduce “red tape” in order to help the Province address the lack of housing supply.
Working with the development and construction community, as well as municipalities, conservation authorities are implementing activities, as well as identifying and addressing other specific concerns, to:
1.Improve Client Service and Accountability while protecting public health and safety, and, the environment
- Endorsement of the CA-Municipality MOU Template for Planning and Development Reviews, Client Service Standards for Conservation Authority Plan and Permit Review, a Guideline for CA Fee Administration Policies for Plan Review and Permitting, Template for CA Planning Comments, the Annual Reporting on Timelines Template and the Guideline for Conservation Authority Pre-Consultation (Planning and Permitting Applications)
- Working with high-growth CAs to implement a consistent client-centric CA review and approval process checklist of CA policies, agreements, reports and other tools to promote transparency and better serve our clients. These high-growth CAs include: Central Lake Ontario, Credit Valley, Essex Region, Grand River, Halton Region, Hamilton Region, Lake Simcoe Region, Niagara Peninsula, North Bay-Mattawa, Nottawasaga Valley, Rideau Valley, South Nation, Toronto and Region and Upper Thames River
- Conducted regional client-centric customer service training sessions for CA staff
2. Increase Speed of Approvals while protecting public health and safety, and, the environment
- Undertook a representative process flow review to understand bottlenecks in the review and approval process
- Starting in 2020, the high-growth CAs will report annually on their permit review timelines. An interim report has been prepared outlining the results of permit review timeline tracking for the high-growth CAs from January 1st - March 31st, 2020. The high-growth CAs prepared these results consistent with the Annual Reporting on Timelines Template.
3. Reduce Red tape and Regulatory burden while protecting public health and safety, and, the environment
- Review and recommend as appropriate candidate legislative amendment opportunities
To support this initiative a Steering Committee of conservation authority General Managers / Chief Administrative Officers has been formed as well as a Conservation Ontario Timely Review and Approvals Task Force which consists of senior-level conservation authority staff who will provide on-going technical support for key deliverables. Workplan deliverables are reported to Conservation Ontario Council on a quarterly basis.