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This week, Express reporter Erin Fawcett has asked Councillor Tara Veer questions regarding council's decision to develop an in-house planning department. "I absolutely think it was the right decision," said Veer.

This week, Express reporter Erin Fawcett has asked Councillor Tara Veer questions regarding council's decision to develop an in-house planning department.

"I absolutely think it was the right decision," said Veer. "Although Parkland Community Planning Services has served us well over the years, the City's planning needs have gotten extremely rigorous."

She added many departments at City Hall play a role in the community's planning.

"It makes sense to integrate it all as much as possible," said Veer.

"We are breaking down government bureaucracy and this is just one more step to ensuring that planning is integrated within," said Veer. "As the City grows, so do many of the City departments including those that involve planning and this will allow them to better work in cohesion with each other."

She added the public demand has been higher in terms of the quality of developments and urban design and having an in-house department will ensure these demands are met.

"As well, economically the cost savings will make an impact," said Veer. "By bringing this department in-house, the savings we will see on the overhead cost will be significant and there's value with that."

"I think a perceived disadvantage is the City's commitment on regional planning," said Veer. "We plan as a region through specific projects. We will continue to plan as a region, but that planning will just look a little different."

"I think the people who will notice a difference are those who are involved in planning," said Veer. "This would be the developers and builders in the community. But I think they will notice an elevated standard and it will be made easier for them because everything will be at City Hall."

She added it may take a couple of years before the general public notices any changes.

"Once we see the planning integrated into a built environment than I think the general public will notice," said Veer.





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