Chamber officials to meet with city council

On Monday, council agreed to meet with the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce

Business leaders are satisfied Vernon city hall is taking the issue of housing seriously.

On Monday, council agreed to meet with the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce to discuss issues of interest, review best practices and find solutions related to the development process.

“We are pleased with the level of due diligence they did,” said Tracy Cobb Reeves, chamber president.

The chamber had recently asked the city to host a forum that would bring together industry, city administration and economic development officials to reduce red tape and promote attainable housing.

Some chamber officials have challenged the city’s internal activities, but Cobb Reeves didn’t express those concerns.

“We absolutely feel the city is open for business,” she said.

The chamber will be invited to help the city draft the terms of reference for future discussions.

“It will be an opportunity to engage our members to see who wants to be at the table,” said Dan Rogers, the chamber’s general manager.

Coun. Catherine Lord insists the city has been making strides to improve its building approval process even before the chamber raised questions.

“The development cost charge bylaw is scheduled to be updated this year,” she said, adding that there is a four-week turnaround for building permits.