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VSB to debate Nexus-style approach to upgrade approval process

(Photo by Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

The VSB will discuss a proposed approach that could see approvals for school upgrades and construction fast-tracked

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A call is going out to help fast-track school upgrades and construction in Vancouver.

A Nexus-style approach to the approval process will be debated at Monday night’s Vancouver School Board meeting.

NPA trustee Lisa Dominato has tabled a motion to prioritize permits for reliable developers.

“I’m optimistic at this point that it’ll pass. I think it just builds on some of the work we’ve already done with the city,” she says. “This way, it doesn’t leave anything to chance and if the city adopts a formal policy, then we’ll be able to expedite our schools.”

Dominato says Vancouver has no policy to fast-track school-related applications, so it currently takes up to a year for a single permit to be approved and that drives up costs. That’s not only for new schools, but those needing seismic upgrades.

Education Minister Rob Fleming has already indicated he wants all BC schools to be earthquake-ready by the year 2030.

“Sounds like he may be willing to have some conversations with his municipal colleagues as well,” Dominato explains. “This motion shows leadership on the part of the board to say, ‘You know, we’d like to have a conversation with the city about having a formal policy in place that prioritizes and fast-tracks our permits.”

She says, if approved, reputable developers would be allowed to expedite taxpayer-funded capital projects similar to how trustworthy drivers get to cross the border into the United States faster using a Nexus pass.