• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Retrospective (retroactive) planning approval

BWharrie

Cyburbian
Messages
74
Points
4
Can anybody advise me of the options for a possible retrospective approval of a development in your neck of the woods? Notwithstanding the usual letter requesting an explanation, a penalty infringement notice, and the development is both structurally sound and does not impact significantly upon the environment or the surrounding properties.

"If everyone skied there would be no wars"

(Dan) Changed the title to reflect North American plannerese. Don't be afraid to use Aussie plannerese, though ... we Yanks and Canucks should learn it.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,483
Points
41
You are probably going to have to be a little more specific BWharrie. Is this a legal, non-conforming use and or structure? Or is it a use/structure built under the radar that meets all development and use requirements for the district in which it is located?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
What do you mean by 'retrospective approval'? I am not familiar with that term....
 

plannerkat

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
Chet said:
What do you mean by 'retrospective approval'? I am not familiar with that term....
I'm guessing this is the "better to ask forgiveness later than permission first" approach to development.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
25
I belive that we would just have the applicant apply for approval as though it wasn't developed...and the developer has to hope they get the "OK." Assuming of course that I am interpreting "retrospective" correctly...I'm not familiar with that either. Maybe "retrotactive"?
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
We have them submit anyway.Have to get our pound of flesh (development review fees). :)

There is actually a big issue with this in my place of employment. A local neighborhood association just decided to change all their entry monuments (they were unpainted, now they will be somewhat brightly painted). Because this is one of the areas in town with quite stringent design review (established because of a court settlement) we have to review this kind of stuff.

Another neighbor (the kind of guy who calls the Planning Director-repeatedly-because his neighbors are...horrors...posting lost puppy and garage sale signs CONTRARY TO THE LAW, OH NO!) was the orginal complainant, We approved it retroactively, and the complainant is now appealing it to the Planning commission. Which means, the pillars are sitting there half painted in bright white primer-and we can't get it on an agenda until late May :(
 

BWharrie

Cyburbian
Messages
74
Points
4
Retrospective Approval

Sorry for the misinterpretation of the word "Retrospective". These things happen over the Pacific. By definition "Retroactive" may be the more correct word but it is not used to my knowledge in Australia.

Unfortunately it seems our State legislation act - Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (see http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/epaaa1979389/ )does not have the capability of approving a structure that was built without approval but required approval under same Act.
Thus the interest is in how does your statute handle the approval of illegally erected structures that are considered to be safe under your relevant building codes and the structure would not signifacantly impact upon anyone or the environment.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,523
Points
23
In our experience, the best you do is issue a building certificate (S149B).

It can be hard to convince people this is all we can do because until BA's were removed from the LG Act to the EP&A Act (in about 1998 I think), retrospective DA's were common.
 

BWharrie

Cyburbian
Messages
74
Points
4
149B Cert

Thanks REM, that's what I thought. Just a pity there is no other avenue for development approval. We found illegal land use approval under s109 but structures unapproved is ridiculous. Why get approval? Hit them with a PIN and then what? Why use orders if the structure is structurally sound with 149B?
 

BWharrie

Cyburbian
Messages
74
Points
4
Top