City Council Approves Initial Phase of Improvements to Development Review Process
In early 2009, the Development Services Department launched a comprehensive review of the City’s development review process to determine improvements that could streamline it, increase transparency, improve public access, make it more predictable, and reduce processing costs. The Department worked with an Oversight Committee comprised of developers, business owners, community organizations, engineers, architects, and contractors to develop process improvement recommendations. On April 20, 2010 the City Council approved the initial phase of improvements to the City’s development review process.
The initial phase includes amendments to various sections of the Chula Vista Municipal Code (CVMC) related to development review administration procedures; parking regulations, and non conforming uses/structures (Title 19 Planning & Zoning), and administrative procedures for the subdivision of land (Title 18 Subdivisions). The amendments to the CVMC are effective June 3, 2010.
The City Council also approved a new policy related to public participation. Council Policy #400-02 (pdf) outlines a comprehensive citywide approach for public participation during the development review process. The new process provides fairness and consistency to all development projects regardless of their geographic location while enhancing opportunities to engage the public early and often throughout the development review process.
Internal processing changes have also been implemented to the initial stages of the development review process to ensure a smoother transition from the “informal” inquiry/pre-application/pre-submittal stage to the “formal” review of a project for compliance with the City’s policies, rules, regulations, and standards (pdf).
The Process Improvement Program is an on-going effort. Subsequent efforts will include implementation of project management within the Development Services Department, automation improvements to support quality customer service efforts, and streamlining efforts in the construction permitting and inspection process.