What a Community "Development Ambassador" Might Look Like

What a Community "Development Ambassador" Might Look Like
Posted on June 10, 2015 | Neil Thomson | Written on June 10, 2015
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

With the many letters and articles being generated by the City of Ottawa's "Development Ambassador" program, what I haven't seen is a counter proposal to balance the situation - a Community Development Ambassador.

I recall a number of conversations in recent years between FCA members on what it would take to allow communities to fully engage in the process to which I'm providing my own variation on a proposal to provide counter/balance to "Developer Ambassadors".

Community Development Ambassador

  • An independent (community appointed) Planner who would attend all meetings and be privy to all communication between the City and the Developer;
  • This planner would be funded by either a separate development fee charged to all development applications or funds provided by the City, which is ideally managed by a 3rd party which is provided to community groups to hire/appoint this “community advocate” planner

Given that the City’s “Development Ambassador” program is using City employees as the “concierges”, the City is effectivly funding the program via employee salaries. So the above request would be entirely consistent with what the City is doing for developers.

Insisting on funding 3rd party “ambassadors” vs. other City employees is also entirely consistent with avoiding conflict of interest (whether for optics or actual conflict).

About The Author

NeilJThomson's picture

Current President: Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association. Member of FCA. Part of Community Panel for the 2013 City of Ottawa Official Plan Review.