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Municipal News- Abbotsford

January 1, 2000

February 7, 2023

UPDATE: McKee Neighbourhood Plan – First and Second Readings 

On January 30, the McKee Neighbourhood Plan (NP) received First and Second Readings. The McKee NP initially received First and Second Readings on June 13, but had both First and Second Readings rescinded in September when the former Mayor (Henry Braun) recused himself from the process. UDI is pleased that the new Council has taken into consideration the recommendations outlined in our letter to advance a McKee NP. We will continue to monitor the plan as it makes its way through the planning process. 

The McKee NP will be advanced to Public Hearing on March 6. 

For more information, read the full report


 

January 24, 2023

UPDATE: McKee Neighbourhood Plan – UDI Letter and Response 

On January 13, UDI submitted a letter to Council regarding the McKee Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The letter included recommendations to bring the McKee NP back to Council and work towards the adoption of a plan in a timely manner to allow projects in the area to move forward. In response, we received a letter from Mayor and Council that the McKee NP is a priority for Council and was included in the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, which was endorsed on January 16. Council has also shared our letter with the City Manager, Director of Community Planning, and Planning staff more broadly. 

 

2022-2026 Strategic Plan 

On January 16, Council endorsed the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. The Plan is organized under four guiding principles: 

  • Inclusive and Connected Community 
  • Sustainable and Safe City 
  • Vibrant and Growing Economy 
  • Organizational Excellence and Integrity 

Key priority actions relevant to the building sector include: 

  • Update the OCP 
  • Develop CAC and Density Bonus Policy 
  • Introduce the McKee NP 
  • Update Infrastructure Master Plans 
  • Advocate (BC Transit/Translink) to extend transit to Skytrain in Langley 
  • Create a Climate Resilience Strategy 
  • Implement Affordable Housing Strategy 
  • Explore a Regional Industrial Land and Advocacy Strategy 

For more information, read the full report or the full Strategic Plan


 

October 18, 2022

Marshall Road Corridor Study 

On October 3rd, Council endorsed the final concept design for the Marshall Road Corridor Study. The Marshall Road Corridor Study involved a review of the corridor’s function, changes to land-use and density (particularly in Abbotsford Village), and changes to the road network to connect Eleanor Avenue to South Fraser Way and Marshall Road from Timberlane Drive to Mountain Drive. 

The concept design will involve redevelopment on Eleanor Avenue as well as fronting properties on Marshall Road between Sumas Way and Griffiths Road to support higher density. 

For more information, read the full report

 

UPDATE: McKee Neighbourhood Plan – First and Second Readings Rescinded

On September 26th, Abbotsford City Council voted to rescind First and Second Reading for the McKee Neighbourhood Plan, after previously granting them. Mayor Braun had recused himself from voting on the Plan due to a conflict of interest, and Staff recommended that the Plan be rescinded and re-introduced as a procedural step. The McKee Neighbourhood Plan will now be brought back to Council for First and Second Reading after the inaugural Council meeting on November 7, 2022 


 

August 9, 2022

UPDATE: McKee Neighbourhood Plan – Public Hearing Cancelled

The Public Hearing for the McKee Neighbourhood Plan scheduled for July 25th has been deferred to ensure Council has all the information they need about this important topic. The City will announce when the Public Hearing is rescheduled, which will likely be later this fall after the municipal election. 


 

July 26, 2022

Development Bylaw Update 

On June 27th, Council adopted a Development Bylaw update. The Development Bylaw regulates the subdivision and development of land as well as sets out the engineering design and construction standards for development within the City.  

The Development Bylaw includes updates to most sections including: administration, water, sanitary sewer, drainage, transportation and trails, landscaping, and street tree sections. 

The Development Bylaw update also requires updates to existing City bylaws to ensure alignment including: Building Bylaw (2018), Fees and Charges Bylaw (2006), and the Latecomer Charges Policy (C010-05). 

New development applications submitted after June 27th will be required to comply with the updated design and construction standards. Development applications that are in-stream may qualify for grandfathering if approvals are completed or issued within one year of the adoption date (June 27). 

Staff plan to update the Development Bylaw more frequently (on annual or bi-annual basis). The following will be reviewed and updated over the next couple years: 

  • Franchise utility pole underground conversion policy and bylaw amendments 
  • Modernized drafting standards to reflect improvements to the City’s GIS 
  • Updates to reflect the latest MMCD released in late 2020 
  • Enhanced cycling infrastructure detail 
  • Sustainable rainwater street tree trenches and urban bioswales integration study 

For more information, click here


 

July 12, 2022

Building Permit Process Review and Modernization Strategy 

On June 27th, Council endorsed the Building Permit Process Review and Modernization Strategy which was identified as a priority under the City’s Strategic Plan in 2019. 

The Building Permit Process Review and Modernization Strategy seeks to: 

  • Increase efficiency by identifying opportunities to:
    • Reduce building permit wait times;
    • Utilize technology to optimize effective use of current resources; 
    • Reduce unnecessary tasks and redundancies to eliminate add time and cost;
  • Increase customer service and satisfaction levels in the building permit process. 

Some key action items recommended are identified below under each improvement theme (Modernize Technology, Business Evaluation and Improvements, Customer Centric Resources): 

Modernize Technology

  • Re-configure permit folders in AMANDA [the City’s permitting software] to reduce complexity and have the building permit business process in the software 

Business Evaluation and Improvements 

  • Create a Business Improvement Team (BIT) within the Building Permits Division; 
  • Create additional building permit review streams based upon type of work; 
    • Currently there are two streams, but staff recommend these streams be broken down into four streams with dedicated staff for each to ensure less complex applications get processed quicker (similar to Easy Permits or Fast Track system that some municipalities have adopted).

    • Adopt building permit review target times as identified in Recommendations 

Customer Centric Resources 

  • Update Building Permits webpage to create unique customer journey and resources based upon different needs of customers 

For a full list of actions under each theme, see page 18-20 for the full report.  

While some of these actions (i.e. improving efficiencies in the AMANDA software system) are already underway, the rest of the actions will be carried out by the new Business Improvement Team to ensure action item implementation does not impede existing services. 


 

June 28, 2022

McKee Neighbourhood Plan 

At Council on June 13th, the McKee Neighbourhood Plan (NP) received First and Second Reading and will be advanced to Public Hearing on July 25th. The full report can be read here. Based on input received during the last phase of community engagement, staff made revisions to the NP, as summarized below: 

  • Commercial Streets designation moved one block north for maximum business exposure; 
  • Minor refinements to DP guidelines and policies; 
  • Added flexibility for infrastructure systems; 
  • Updates to the road network section regarding classifications and required upgrades; 
  • Removal of the phasing plan map and corresponding table, and minor refinements to phasing plan text; 
  • A new phasing plan for securing school sites. 

In some cases, the McKee NP provides greater detail than the OCP and will prevail. In the case where the McKee NP does not contain guidance or direction, the OCP would continue to apply. 


 

May 17, 2022

McKee Neighbourhood Plan Stage 3 

On May 9th at Abbotsford’s Executive Council Meeting, Council endorsed the Stage 3 Draft Plan for consultation. The Plan will be posted on the Let’s Talk Abbotsford website in the coming weeks and the City will be conducting public and stakeholder engagement. 

The Stage 3 Draft Plan includes draft land-use designations and outlines several development permit area guidelines. These include guidelines for: 

  • McKee Village form and character; 
  • Building on Steep Slopes; and 
  • Wildfire Hazard areas; 

In tandem with consultation on Stage 3, staff will proceed with the development of Stage 4 work. 

If you have any questions or comments regarding the McKee Neighbourhood Plan, please contact Cassandra McColman. 


 

March 22, 2022

UPDATED: Revised Zoning Bylaw Approved 

In November 2021, UDI provided comments to staff regarding the proposed Zoning Bylaw changes. On March 7, Council approved the updates including a clarification of the definitions for accessory dwelling units and updates to bicycle parking requirements. The changes will also include parking reductions for one-bedroom apartment units and a requirement for one parking stall per unit to be electrified. 

The full report can be found here (p.168). 


 

February 23, 2022

Stage 2 McKee Neighbourhood Plan 

Staff have released their completed Stage 2 Concept Report for the McKee Neighbourhood Plan earlier this month. The Concept Report defines the boundaries (p.13) of the new Plan area, conducted initial technical analysis (road networks and infrastructure networks), and developed a draft land-use plan (p.55).The Concept Report also provides a summary of the public consultation feedback to date. 

The next stage will focus on preparing the first draft of the McKee Neighbourhood Plan using findings from Stages 1 and 2. It will also include a technical analysis of infrastructure needs as well as a complete Transportation Impact Assessment. 

Questions and comments are currently being accepted through the City’s online portal


 

February 8, 2022

Development Bylaw Update 

The City of Abbotsford is reviewing its Development Bylaw, and is seeking feedback on the proposed changes. The Development Bylaw regulates the subdivision and development of land and sets out the standards for design and construction of infrastructure within the City of Abbotsford and was last updated in 2011. The goal of this bylaw update is to formalize the City’s current practices and update design and construction standards in alignment with strategic initiatives. The City is seeking to adopt an updated bylaw by the end of Q1 2022. 

The draft Development Bylaw can be found on the Let’s Talk Abbotsford webpage along with a council report and presentation highlighting the areas of change. If you have specific feedback, you can provide it directly through the City website or by email to Patrick Siemens, ahead of the February 11th deadline. Alternatively, if there are major areas of concern, please contact Cassandra McColman and we can work with staff to arrange a virtual meeting to address them. 


 

December 14, 2021

DCC Bylaw adopted – new rates effective January 1, 2022

On Monday, December 6, 2021, Abbotsford City Council adopted Bylaw No. 3174-2021, “Development Cost Charge Imposition Bylaw, 2021” with an effective date of January 1, 2022. Please see attached bulletin, visit our Let’s Talk Abbotsford webpage or attached council report COR 029-2021 for more information.


 

November 16, 2021

Proposed Zoning Bylaw Update Report and Public Engagement Survey 

Abbotsford staff is requesting feedback on the Proposed Zoning Bylaw Update (see here).  

The report is fairly broad based focusing on a number of fairly significant changes to multi-family, commercial, and industrial projects including:  

  1. Living arrangements (site design changes) 
    • Multi-family (p.4, 8)
    • Accessory units (p.5, 8)
    •  Supplementary changes: rental tenure, retaining wall replacement, fence height, etc. (p.18, 19, 20)
  2. Revisions to the definitions of secondary suite, lock-off suite, among others for residential (p.5)
  3. Parking standards for Apartments, Commercial, and Industrial
    • Updating the design, size, and the numbers of stalls required for multi-family, commercial, and industrial
      • Apartments (p.22, 29)
      • Large commercial (p.23, 29)
      • Industrial (p.24, 29)
    • Changes to Accessible Parking requirements
    • Reductions for the transit corridor (p.37)
    • Parking design (p.40, 41)
  4. Changing the Cash in Lieu rate from $3,000 to $22,500 per stall in the historic downtown (p.36)
  5. Electrical vehicle charging requirements
    • For single-detached, secondary suite, duplex, rowhouse, townhouse, apartments, visitor parking (p.25, 30, 31)
  6. Bike parking (p.26, 31)

To provide feedback on the proposed changes please visit the City’s public Let’s Talk Engagement page (see here), which includes an online questionnaire that is open until November 19


 

August 10, 2021

Abbotsford DCC

An updated DCC imposition bylaw received 3rd reading at Abbotsford Council on July 26. In response to recommendations made by the Province, several of the initially proposed projects were removed from the DCC funding. In the recent update, the proposed DCC rate increases are lower than the rates discussed in previous newsletters.  See the report here (on p.117).

The revised DCC Report is currently being reviewed by the Province, the review could take up to several months.

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments.


 

July 13, 2021

2020 CARIP, Sustainability Report, and Climate Action Update

At the Abbotsford Council Executive Committee Meeting of June 21 a report on CARIP, Sustainability, and Climate Action Update (see p.44) was received by Council for information.  This report is a follow-up in response to the recent termination of the Minister of Municipal Affairs Climate Action Revenue Incentive (CARIP) program.

The report includes a discussion surrounding the implementation of new corporate energy and climate action updates.

Additionally, it proposes updates to the EV Readiness Requirements for Multi-Family Residential Building. The next steps regarding the EV Charging requirements will be public consultation, which is slated to take place in the fall of 2021.


 

May 4, 2021

DCC Bylaw 

The City of Abbotsford opened up consultation for a proposed DCC update in August 2020. Since August UDI actively engaged with the City on the proposed Bylaw update. At the City of Abbotsford Regular Council meeting of April 26 the Development Cost Charges Imposition Bylaw, received 3rd reading. The report will now be submitted to the Provincial Inspector for approval prior to final adoption by Council.  To see the DCC Report please see (p.76) of the Council Agenda Package.


 

February 23, 2021

Proposed DCC Rate Changes

Abbotsford proposed updating its DCCs in late August 2020. The proposed rate increases could be significant for single-family and commercial/ industrial builders (50-70%).

When the DCC consultation period closed on 02.16.21 UDI, CHBAFV, and NAIOP submitted a joint a letter of response to Abbotsford. The letter highlights why it is important for single-family and commercial/ industrial builders in Abbotsford to phase-in the DCC bylaw and how the City could phase-in the bylaw.


 

January 12, 2021

UPDATED: Development Cost Charge Bylaw (DCC) Consultation

UDI has been engaging with the City of Abbotsford regarding the city’s plans to update its DCC rates in the next few months.

 On January 3 the CoA responded to the letter that UDI/CHBAFV/ NAIOP submitted in December. In the letter, the City staff note that they have extended the consultation period to February 15 2021. See the CoA response letter here.

See the joint letter on the proposed DCC changes that the three organizations submitted to the CoA on December 11.

The Urban systems report that went to the Council Committee of a Whole in December 2020 can be found here.

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments.


 

December 15, 2020

UPDATED: Development Cost Charge Bylaw (DCC) Consultation

As a follow-up to consultation sessions that UDI, CHBAFV, and NAIOP has had with Abbotsford staff regarding the proposed DCC bylaw Update. We submitted a joint letter to the City of Abbotsford (CoA) Mayor and Council On December 11.

The letter requests the CoA consider phasing-in and grandfathering the bylaw, as well as, additional consultation with staff. See the letter here.

On November 9 the DCC Bylaw Update was received by Council Committee of the Whole for information. The report can be found here (see section 5.1). 


 

December 1, 2020

UPDATED: DCC Review Information and Let’s Talk Abbotsford

On November 23, UDI, CHBAFV, and NAIOP submitted a joint letter to the City of Abbotsford (CoA) staff regarding a presentation about proposed DCC increases. The letter requests the CoA to consider phasing-in and grandfathering the bylaw and additional industry consultation to discuss specific details that were not covered in the presentation. See the letter here

On the same day the CoA also submitted a letter to UDI. Some of the key takeaways from the CoA letter included, extending the consultation period to from November 23, 2020 to January 4, 2021 and providing additional information on Let’s Talk Abbotsford Portal. The added documents can be found in the Document Library section on the website and include, Draft DCC rate Calculations and an updated DCC Project List

A first Draft of the Urban Systems DCC Background Report is expected to be received by Council Committee of the Whole meeting on December 14, 2020. At this meeting Council will be presented with all information received through the stakeholder engagement process up to November 23. Final approval of the bylaw is expected sometime in 2021.


 

November 3, 2020

Development Cost Charge Bylaw (DCC) Consultation on October 30

The City of Abbotsford hosted a meeting on October 30 to discuss updating its Development Cost Charge (DCCBylaw. The presentation from the stakeholder meeting can be found here. The bylaw is slated to go to Council in December of 2020.

The City of Abbotsford hosted a meeting on October 30 to discuss updating its Development Cost Charge (DCCBylaw. The proposed bylaw is slated to go to Council in December of 2020. The presentation from the stakeholder meeting can be found here. Please visit the Let’s Talk Abbotsford Portal to provide feedback on the proposed changes. Staff will be accepting feedback until November 9, 2020.

Should you have any additional questions related to the presentation and the proposal, Please contact Richard Demkiw by email at rdemkiw@udi.org or by phone 778-388-1639.


 

October 20, 2020

Development Cost Charge Bylaw (DCC) Consultation on October 30

As noted previously, the City of Abbotsford is updating its Development Cost Charge (DCCBylaw, and will be hosting a Virtual Online Meeting between 10:00am and 11:30am on October 30, 2020. To register for the consultation session, please visit the Let’s Talk Abbotsford Portal. The information page also includes a survey for providing additional feedback. 

On August 6, the City of Abbotsford held a DCC consultation session and presentation highlighting the proposed rate changes. The presentation can be found here. See here for the letter that UDI submitted to the City of Abbotsford on August 27.th

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any comments/ questions. He can also be reached by phone at 778.388.1639.


 

October 6, 2020

Development Cost Charge Bylaw (DCC) Consultation on October 30

The City of Abbotsford is updating its Development Cost Charge (DCCBylaw, and will be hosting a Virtual Online Meeting between 10:00am and 11:30am on October 30, 2020. To register for the consultation session, please visit the Let’s Talk Abbotsford Portal. The information page also includes a survey for providing additional feedback. 

On August 6, the City of Abbotsford held a DCC consultation session and presentation highlighting the proposed rate changes. The presentation can be found here.

See here for the letter that UDI submitted to the City of Abbotsford on August 27.th

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any comments/ questions. He can also be reached by phone at 778.388.1639.


 

September 8, 2020

Development Cost Charge Bylaw (DCC) Consultation

On August 6, the City of Abbotsford held a DCC stakeholder Consultation meeting including UDI members. After the meeting several concerns were raised that due to changing calculation metric, members noted that individual projects’ rate increases could vary from what was highlighted in the consultation session. It was suggested that additional information providing a more direct comparison of existing and proposed DCC rates would provide a more straightforward framework. As a result, on August 27, UDI submitted a letter that requests further consultation on the proposed rates.

The DCC proposal is slated to go to Council in November.

See here for the letter.

See here for the presentation which highlights the proposed rate increases for residential and non-residential developments on page 18.


 

August 11, 2020

UPDATED: DCC Draft Bylaw Update

As noted in the last newsletter, the City of Abbotsford is reviewing its Development Cost Charge (DCC) Bylaw, which has not had a major update since 2008/2010. UDI participated in a Virtual Online Meeting on August 6 regarding the DCC review (see the attached presentation). It is anticipated that an updated DCC By-law will go to Council in November. If it is approved then, it will be forwarded to the Province for review.

The City has released the draft rates, and have provided an information page and survey for comment. They are asking for responses by August 28. UDI will be providing the City with a letter. If you have a project in Abbotsford, we ask that you review the material and provide Richard Demkiw with any comments/questions by August 24. He can also be reached by phone at 778.388.1639.


 

July 28, 2020

DCC Draft Bylaw Update

The City of Abbotsford is updating its Development Cost Charge (DCC) Bylaw, and will be hosting a Virtual Online Meeting between 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on August 6 (see details below).

The  draft rates have recently been released, and staff have provided an information page and survey for comment. Staff are asking for responses to the survey by August 31, 2020.

 

McKee Neighbourhood Plan

At the City of Abbotsford Executive Committee meeting on July 20, a report on Stage 1 (Background Research) for the McKee Neighbourhood Plan was presented. The presentation discussed key findings in the areas listed below:

Abbotsford Council has directed staff to proceed with Stage 2 of the plan, which will be a more in-depth engagement, exploring options of land uses, preliminary parking services, parks, trails and open space. See here  P.107 of the Executive Committee of Council Committee Package on July 20 for the full report.


 

May 19, 2020 

See here for Abbotsford COVID-19 Business Support
See here for Abbotsford City Services Updates – COVID 19

Latest COVID updates can be found here and include;

Helpseeker App connects people to various services and supports – see here

April 24th Property Tax and Utility Bill Payments Update

April 21st Federal and Provincial Financial Relief Resources

April 15th Responsive Small Neighbourhood Grants

April 14th Utility Bill deadline and other license dates extended

See here for all media releases from Abbotsford

See recent media releases below:

April 21st Engagement Opportunity for Eagle Mountain Park and Elementary School

April 14th Utility Bill deadline and other license dates extended

April 2nd #AbbyCares online resource to keep people connected – All the #Abby Cares resources will be at https://letstalkabbotsford.ca/abbycares

April 9th COVID-19 Business Support https://caed.abbotsford.ca/covid-19-business-support/

April 8th Maintaining Physical Distancing at Public Hearings

April 7th Updated – Enforcement of health orders

 April 3rd 2020 Update- Planning and Development Services Update

April 2nd New Process for Public hearings Due to COVID-19

March 27th  City Undertaking Additional Staffing Changes

March 26th Open Air Burning Ban Across Abbotsford

March 23rd All playground structures and skateboard parks closed to the public

March 23rd Curbside Collection and Compostables Update

March 20th Fraser Valley Transit Systems Service Update

March 18th All City Facilities Closed to the Public Until Further Notice

March 16th All Recreation Centres and non-essential facilities closed.

March 13th Events of people over 250 cancelled temporarily

March 12th Update to Residents

 


December 23, 2019

WeTown Proposal

On Monday December 16, UDI wrote a letter to the City of Abbotsford responding to a the recent “McKee Neighbourhood Plan -Additional Resources for WeTown” staff report. Council voted to oppose the recent WeTown report, this means that the WeTown proposal will not move forward.

A second alternate motion was then put forward from Mayor Braun regarding the future of the McKee neighborhood plan. This second motion passed successfully and recommended for the City to proceed with the original scope and planning process prior to the WeTown proposal.

Please let Richard Demkiw, know if you have any questions or comments.

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