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Cumberland gets grant to modernize development approvals process

The Village of Cumberland is getting $229,960 in grant funding to modernize its building and development approvals process. 

Updates will include new and easy-to-access public information about building and development in Cumberland, a streamlined application process, and new software to accept applications online and keep electronic records. 

The village says this will help it better serve the community, from residents seeking information about active development applications to businesses looking for more clarity and efficiency in the development process.

“The village has seen significant growth and an influx of new residents in recent years, and the updates to our building and development approvals process will allow us to keep up with the growing demand for new housing and commercial spaces,” said Mayor Leslie Baird. 

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“New information on our website will help community members access the information they are looking for more easily and create efficiencies.”

Between 2011 and 2016,  Cumberland experienced dramatic growth of 10.4 percent, surpassing that of the Comox Valley Regional District and the province by about threefold. 

In the past five years, the number of development applications has remained consistently high.

In a release, the village said modernization of the process and document management “is needed to keep pace with development activity.” 

It added these changes “will result in increased process efficiency and effectiveness, reduced staff time spent responding to enquiries, and improved service to the community.”

The $229,960 grant covers 100 percent of the project cost. 

The project is scheduled to begin in October 2021 and be completed in 2023. 

The Local Government Development Approvals Program is funded by the province and the federal government under the Safe Restart Agreement. 

The purpose of the program is to help local governments implement best practices and innovative approaches to development approvals processes.

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