UEL’s Development Permit Process
The UEL has an unusual development permit (DP) process in that all development projects require a DP. Other jurisdictions have well-defined descriptions of development requirements, and routine single-family projects are permitted under an “outright use” procedure, assuming they comply with all requirements. UEL residents are allowed to provide letters of objection to any development permit application and when a persuasive number of objections are received from the community, the manager may choose to refer the application to the Advisory Design Panel (ADP) for review and recommendation.
Role of the Advisory Design Panel
At the UEL manager’s discretion, the ADP meets to discuss the merits and possible problems with development permit applications and to determine whether a recommendation should be made to approve, reject or return the application for modifications.
Makeup of the ADP
The ADP includes two community representatives elected from each of the four neighbourhood UEL areas or wards, and seven members from the architecture, landscape architecture and engineering professions.
Only those community members from the particular UEL Area in which the subject property is located are permitted to sit on the panel. None of the professional members face any such restrictions: they are allowed to sit on every panel regardless of which neighbourhood is concerned. While community members have the opportunity to express their own and their neighbours’ concerns, in practice, they cannot control either the outcome of a vote, or the final recommendations provided to the Manager.