The City of Vernon is maintaining continuity in development approvals amid COVID-19. (File photo)

City of Vernon to keep working with developers through COVID-19

City council has postponed its meeting schedule; variances, zoning applications on hold

Despite operating in a limited capacity due to COVID-19, the City of Vernon is still open for business to the development community.

“We have an unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our citizens and our employees and are working hard to keep you safe.” the city said Friday, March 27. “This means we are taking steps to protect our customers and front line staff.”

City council has postponed its regular meeting schedule until further notice. City staff will continue working on variances, rezoning applications and Official Community Plan amendments for when council reconvenes.

“We want to be ready for an active business recovery period and to get your development moving. As such, avoiding variance requests at this time will ensure that staff can process your application in a timely fashion,” Mayor Victor Cumming said in a letter to the development community March 26.

The status of public hearings is still up in the air, and the city is waiting for direction from the B.C. government on the conduct of public hearings during COVID-19.

Building inspections will continue except for buildings that are finished or occupied. Screening questions will be asked upon scheduling an inspection to ensure physical distancing measures are in place.

The city is asking the public to call or email unless a visit to a city facility is absolutely necessary. Visits will still be permitted for dropping off materials that can’t be emailed, making a payment or picking up a building permit.

Those who do need to visit a city facility are asked to stay two metres from staff and other members of the public. Anyone who is sick or has make contact with a person feeling ill in the last 14 days is asked not to make an in-person visit.

“The city continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will be able to respond to critical issues as they arise. We continue to follow the directions of provincial and federal health authorities,” said city communications manager Christy Poirier.

Contact information for all city departments can be found here.

READ MORE: Local states of emergency to be lifted amid provincewide declaration: Vernon mayor

READ MORE: Interior Health Authority to hold virtual town hall with local MLAs

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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