Terms of Reference

Elbow Park Residents Association
Planning Committee Terms of Reference

1.0 Introduction

  • Community Association Planning Committees address any planning or development matter within the community including, but not limited to: residential, commercial, institutional, agricultural, and industrial development and land use; parks; pathways; transportation; environmental considerations; and community development initiatives and projects that impact the community. 
  • The committee’s roles, responsibilities, and terms of reference should be reviewed annually by the Board, and by the AGM as required.

    2.0 Purpose 

    • The purpose of the EPRA Planning Committee is to:
    1. be a positive and pro-active force in the direction, development, and evolution of the physical environment of the community; 
    2. be mindful of the community’s role in the overall development of Calgary, including relationships with neighbouring communities and role of the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan ;
    3. promote community interest and facilitate community dialogue and education on planning and development issues; 
    4. support the role and involvement of community groups and individuals in planning and development issues and processes; and
    5. further the goals of the ElbowPark residents by supporting high quality development and community planning in the community.

      3.0 Responsibilities

      • The EPRA Planning Committee has no formal jurisdiction or authority in planning matters but plays a valuable role in providing advice, background information and community context; expressing community issues and concerns to the City of  Calgary and to applicants; advocate for planning activity in the community when required; and attracting desirable development to the community.
      • In order to fulfill the purpose, the EPRA Planning Committee should:
      1. monitor the planning and development of the community;
      2. provide advice and comments to the City of Calgary on planning issues that directly or indirectly affect the community;
      3. determine what types of development permit applications the committee feels are important to review and which ones automatically warrant a “no comment”;
      4. respond to development application circulations from The City (and pre-application approaches from development applicants as required) on the types of applications that the committee has agreed to review; 
      5. appeal development approvals when in the opinion of the CA Planning Committee, and with the concurrence of the Board, the appeal is in the interest of the purpose as stated in section 2.0;

         Commenting on applications:

        1. Comment on the effect of the proposal on the adjacent properties and the surrounding community;
        2. comment on the effect of the proposal on community environment and transportation issues;
        3. where appropriate, put forward possible alternatives to the proposal; and
        4. identify issues relating to the community context specific to the proposal. 
        5. include neighbouring residents in application review and decision-making processes;
        6. where neighbouring residents are in an adjacent community, collaborate with the adjacent CA Planning Committee on the review and decision-making process;

           Engaging with the community:

          1. ensure that the broader community receives periodic updates on the planning effort, issues, and successes;
          2. provide a means for the broader community to provide suggestions to the Planning Committee;
          3. ensure that comments and suggestions from community members and other citizens are heard and considered;
          4. conduct outreach actions, such as a community-wide information meeting, opinion poll, petition, etc. whenever the magnitude of development warrants a broader committee mandate; 
          5. provide a forum for the community to exchange ideas with developers as appropriate;

            Proactive work and non-application planning issues:

            1. advocate for planning activity by the City, or for community-based planning initiatives
            2. advocate for improvements to the planning processes that strengthen the role of community associations and the involvement of the broader community;
            3. assist with reviews or the development of the following, especially where they affect the community:  
               . land use bylaws
              . local area plans 
              . park and recreation plans
              . transportation and traffic plans
              . major development proposals with potential impact on the community;
            4. respond to planning and development issues which may arise in the community in general; 
            5. Update the Elbow Park Community Charter in order to  communicate the community context up front to developers and the community at large.
            6. In the case that the views of some residents are in opposition to the comments expressed by the EPRA Planning Committee, the residents’ views will also be noted in any correspondence with the City of Calgary Planning Department, and residents will be encouraged to make independent comments. 

            4.0 Authority

            • The EPRA Planning Committee is a standing Committee authorized by the EPRA Board of Directors; 
            • The Planning Committee is chaired by a member of the EPRA Board of Directors, who is appointed Development Director by the Board. A Vice-Chair,  may also be appointed to act in the Director’s absence.
            • The Planning Committee is authorized by the EPRA Board of Directors to undertake any activity within its terms of reference
            • The CA Planning Committee should seek Board approval on anything outside of its terms of reference; 
            • The CA Planning Committee should seek Board approval to submit an appeal to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB)
            • Members of the CA Planning Committee should refrain from speaking to the media unless permission is expressly granted by the EPRA President (who is the official spokesperson for EPRA)

              5.0 Qualifications of Committee Members

              A. Voting Members

              1. Should be voting members in good standing of the EPRA and
              2. Should have attended three (2) consecutive meetings of the EPRA Planning Committee with a motion granting voting privileges at the beginning of the third meeting. 

                B. Loss of Voting Privilege

                  1. Occurs when the person is no longer a voting member of the CA;
                  2. Occurs upon failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings unless formally excused by the planning committee. Voting privileges may be reinstated according to voting members procedure outlined above; and 
                  3. Occurs upon failure to abide by the bylaws of the EPRA. 
                  4. Occurs after a vote of the majority of the voting members of the planning committee, upon ratification by the Board.
                  5. Occur upon a vote of the majority of Board members.
                C. Non-Voting Members
                    1. May include the Councillor for the area,  a City of Calgary Community Recreation Coordinator (CRC) or other Community and Neighbourhood Services (CNS) representative and/or City of Calgary Community Planner;
                    2. May include any resident, property owner, business owner, and/or agency within the geographical boundaries of Elbow Park as defined in the EPRA bylaws who is not a voting member; and
                    3. May include other non-voting members added by the Planning Director/Chair as deemed necessary. 

                    6.0 Membership

                    • The CA Planning Committee membership
                      1. should reflect the range of community diversity and interests and should be selected through a process that is open and welcoming to all members of the EPRA;
                      2. should be reviewed annually, prior to the AGM, to encourage representation from a cross section of the community; and
                      3. should be limited to no more than (ten) voting members.
                        • Members should be chosen based on factors including experience, expertise, and a demonstrated interest in and understanding of community planning and consultation issues as they relate to community associations citywide. 
                        • The Committee may include people with professional planning, architecture, real estate, business, or development experience as long as they are interested in supporting the EPRA planning role and excuse themselves when there is a conflict of interest
                        • All members are encouraged to advance their knowledge and understanding of the planning process through participation in planning workshops as scheduled by The City, the Federation of Calgary Communities, and/or other groups. 

                            7.0 Meetings

                            • Should occur monthly and ad hoc when necessary to review development permits that are time sensitive
                            • A quorum should consist of a majority of the voting members. Where in-person quorum is impossible to achieve on an issue requiring timely response, the matter may be dealt with via email.
                            • Public participation at the Planning Committee is at the discretion of the committee Chairperson.

                              8.0 Conduct of Members 

                              • CA Planning Committee members 
                                1. should declare conflict of interest and refrain from voting on any matter or application in which they have a priority interest or are personally affected (they may, however, comment to the committee); and
                                2. should always present a balanced view and objective community perspective when engaging in dialogue with community residents regarding development and planning issues.

                                    • If any member of the CA Planning Committee (including the Director or Chair) is contacted by a developer, they should refer the matter to the next EPRA Planning Committee meeting for discussion. 
                                    • Planning Committee members should refrain from taking public positions (e.g. writing letters, speaking at public hearings, filing appeals) contrary to decisions of the Planning Committee unless they have declared conflict of interest (per 8.0 i); they must clearly express that they are acting as an individual, not as a Planning Committee member.

                                    9.0 Reporting  

                                    • The CA Planning Committee should present the monthly meeting minutes and reports to the Board of Directors at each Board meeting; and
                                    • The CA Planning Committee should provide updates on Planning Committee activities to the general community through the website, Gazette and digital newsletter

                                      APPENDIX A

                                      Procedures for Development Review Meetings:

                                      The CA Planning Committee:
                                      1. should give neighbours of developments and other affected parties advance notice of meetings by door to door notices; 
                                      2. should conduct a consistent and objective review of applications;
                                      3. should review project proposals, identify problems, propose alternatives, and attempt to reach a consensus on a course of action;
                                      4. should evaluate applications with specific reference to the Elbow Park Community Charter;
                                      5. should encourage residents to send in independent comments; and
                                      6. may also elect to attend information meetings by an applicant regarding substantial proposals affecting the community at large. 
                                      7. Prior to the arrival of the applicant or anyone else associated with an application, background information may be presented, and a discussion of background issues may be held.
                                      The EPRA Planning Committee meeting will generally be in progress when the applicant arrives. The applicant and residents are asked to sign in. The applicant is asked to bring items that will be helpful to the members, such as:
                                          • current plans for the development 
                                          • a colour rendering of the development 
                                          • landscape plans 
                                          • images showing the context
                                        The EPRA Director of Development (Chairperson) should introduce presentations with an outline of outstanding issues and summarize any points which may have been previously discussed/resolved.
                                        The applicant/proponent should make a presentation and answer questions from the committee members and guests. This should be a two-way discussion to pinpoint problems, identify alternatives, and determine the degree of project flexibility on specific items. In the case of a residential infill application, for example, that includes: 
                                              • lot coverage of the proposed building, including garage; 
                                              • external dimensions of the proposed building; 
                                              • location and zoning of the property; 
                                              • placement on the lot; and size and placement in relation to adjacent homes
                                              • The applicant may have someone speak on his/her behalf, such as the architect or builder of the proposed development. 

                                              • EPRA Planning Committee members will consider if the application adheres to the Elbow Park Charter the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) and any other Guidelines 
                                              • Affected residents or businesses who attend the meeting will be given a fixed amount of time (e.g. five minutes each) to question the applicant and add their input to the review process. Anyone affected by the proposed development may present a written, verbal and/or visual submission to the EPRA Planning committee meeting. After the presentation, the applicant and anyone else associated with the application will be asked to leave the meeting.
                                              • Discussion among Planning Committee members while the applicant is present should not be permitted. The Planning Committee should maintain a united front and not provide or imply community support for the project or any aspect of it prior to full committee discussion and recommendation after applicant has left the meeting.
                                              • The Director or appointed member will send a letter to the City of Calgary Planning Department conveying the response of the committee and (if applicable) comments of the affected residents who attended the meeting. A copy of the letter is sent to the EPRA Board of Directors, applicant and to affected residents who attended the meeting.
                                              • When the views of the residents differ from the recommendation made by the EPRA Planning Committee, the residents’ views will be noted in any correspondence with the City of Calgary Planning Department. The CA Planning Committee also encourages residents to send in independent comments to The City if they feel strongly about an application. The EPRA Planning Committee will advise residents on how to file an appeal.
                                              • All correspondence will remain on file. 

                                          APPENDIX B

                                          EPRA Development Director Job Description


                                          Is an elected member of the EPRA Board of Directors

                                          Primary responsibility:

                                          Form relationships with, and act as a liaison between, community residents, developers, property owners, and City planners. This position requires a working knowledge of the Land Use Bylaw (1P2007) and any relevant community plans.

                                          Tasks include:

                                            • Meeting with applicants (architects, property owners, business owners)
                                            • Receiving  correspondence from The City and developers
                                            • Attending the monthly Board Meeting
                                            • Preparing a report of Planning Committee recommendations to the Board of Directors
                                            • Planning and conducting monthly Planning Committee meetings 
                                            • Distributing the meeting agenda to Planning Committee members in advance of each meeting
                                            • Delegating the following tasks to committee members to ensure they are carried out:
                                              • Checking the City website regularly for new development activity in the community
                                              • Checking the City website in advance of each CA Planning Committee meeting and City of Calgary Public Hearing for matters pertaining to the community
                                              • Following up on development permits (i.e. when do permits lapse?)
                                              • Following up on development projects (i.e. does the finished project comply with the development permit?)
                                                  • Signing all acts, orders, and proceedings of the Planning Committee along with, including correspondence directed to elected representatives or senior officials, except where it is deemed that the EPRA President’s signature is required. 
                                                  • Attending Calgary Planning Commission (CPC) meetings when necessary
                                                  • Attending Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) hearings when necessary
                                                  • Attending Public Hearings of City Council when necessary

                                            Planning Coordinator


                                            Should be a voting member of the EPRA Planning Committee and should be appointed to the job by the Planning Committee for a term of one year. This person may also be appointed Vice Chair to act in the Planning Director’s absence, such appointment to be ratified by the Board.


                                            1. Drafting communications regarding the recommendations of the EPRA Planning Committee for distribution to government, staff and applicants. Assist the Chair in carrying out his/her duties. Act as Chair in the absence of the Planning Director. 
                                            2. Ensure that neighbouring residents are included in the review and decision-making process, and advocate for the involvement of the broader community in planning and development issues and processes whenever possible.

                                            Tasks include:

                                              • Providing neighbours of developments and other affected parties advance notice of CA Planning Committee meetings
                                              • Advocating for proper notification procedures by the City (i.e. notice posting)
                                              • Ensuring that the broader community receives periodic updates on the planning effort, issues, and successes (e.g. ensuring there is a regular planning information in the newsletter).
                                              • Collecting feedback and suggestions for the CA Planning Committee from the broader community
                                              • Ensuring that comments and suggestions from community members and other citizens are heard and considered by the CA Planning Committee
                                              • Preparing correspondence (written letters, emails, etc) regarding EPRA Planning Committee recommendations to government, staff, and developers
                                              • Providing copies of such correspondence to :
                                            1. the Chair for approval and signature

                                            2. the Secretary for noting, filing, and publishing (website, newsletter, etc)


                                            Primary responsibility:
                                            Record and distribute Planning Committee meeting minutes.  
                                            Tasks include:

                                            • Recording the meeting minutes  (Minutes are not normally publicly available and usually only contain motions & recording of votes. Frank discussions should not be recorded. as they may, theoretically, result in legal action by an aggrieved applicant. meeting minutes within ten calendar days after each committee meeting to CA Planning Committee members, and the CA Board and members at the next Board of Directors meeting
                                            • Provide notes as required to the Planning Coordinator to assist in the drafting of response letters, and to the Community Engagement Coordinator to assist in the drafting of newsletter articles and other communications.
                                            • Making portions of the minutes available to other parties who attended a committee meeting (at the discretion of the Director)

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