To address the need for efficient processing of development applications in a high growth environment,the City of Maple Ridge hired Neilson Strategies in 2022to conduct an independent review of the City’s Development Services Function.
Strong growth projections, coupled with a commitment to efficient and fair customer service, led to the independent review of the Development Services Function for the City of Maple Ridge by Neilson Strategies in 2022. Over the course of several months, we analyzed all aspects of the City’s current Development Services Function, interviewed all city staff involved in development application reviews, undertook comparative research on best practices, and provided Council and senior management a comprehensive overview and set of recommendations. We presented a total of 34 recommendations under 12 headings for the City’s consideration. Individual recommendations identified the need for a separate application stream for high priority development projects, the elimination of a separate first reading, increased delegation from Council to staff, and an inter-departmental protocol agreement to limit and better manage the referral of development applications from Development Engineering to staff in Operations, Utilities and Transportation. Neilson Strategies presented the report to City Council and participated in the implementation of key recommendations.