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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Council presented overview of the new Development Standards Manual


by Sylene Argent

On Monday evening, Essex Council received the presentation Carston Gregory, of Dillon Consulting Limited, made regarding the draft Developmental Standards Manual.

  Lori Chadwick, Director of Development Services, explained the Development Standards Manual is a new document, which consolidated the Town of Essex’s development requirements into one document.

  “It is essentially a ‘how to’ manual for how to build in the Town of Essex,” Chadwick said. Information found within the pages of the draft document include what to expect during the planning approval process, to design criteria for sidewalks and cul-de-sacs, consideration for climate adaptation, and specifications for sewer sizes and materials.

  “This manual is the product of well over a year’s worth of collaboration, designing, writing, editing, editing, and more editing,” Chadwick said.

  In addition to working with Dillon Consulting to develop the manual, Chadwick said the Development Services and Infrastructure Services departments for the Town of Essex collaborated on the project.

  Monday’s overview, she added, provided the opportunity to walk Council members through the document. She noted feedback and questions were welcome. Those with input are urged to contact Kevin Girard, Director of Infrastructure, or Chadwick to submit comments or concerns by February 11.

  She hopes to present the final draft of the Development Standards Manual to Council on February 22.

  Gregory explained the Town issued an RFP in 2020 to create the document, as the last update was completed nearly 20-years ago.

  The purpose of the manual, Gregory noted, is to clarify and enforce Town requirements and processes as it pertains to planning, agreements, infrastructure design, approvals, and construction.

  The intent is that the manual will streamline development, reduce red tape, consolidate previously disconnected processes, and will become a ‘one-stop-shop’ for a development roadmap.

  Residential subdivision developers, commercial developers, consultants, engineers, architects, contractors, builders, residents, Town staff, and private utilities will be able to use the manual to help them navigate through requirements as they embark on projects, Gregory noted.

  The manual should help the Town strive for better development and consistency of requirements among developers, Gregory said.

  In addition to brainstorming with other Town of Essex departments, Gregory noted an in-depth review was also conducted of existing infrastructure requirements and proposed design for better infrastructure was also completed with the Building Department.  

  The manual is interactive, allowing users to click on the table of contents, ensuring information can be found quickly, Gregory added.

  With the Town’s standards consolidated, there is nothing left to interpretation, he noted, adding federal, provincial, municipal, and environmental standards were adhered to when creating the policy, in addition to provincial guidelines and regional requirements. It was also harmonized with an array of Town of Essex documents and policies for consistency.


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