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The Urban Form Business Transformation (UFBT) initiative is changing how we provide planning and development services to improve customer service. Our approach focuses on speed to market with the ultimate goal of building a vibrant Edmonton. Together with City staff and city-building partners (industry, citizens and service providers) we are creating solutions to the challenges experienced today.

For an overview of what we've done so far and next steps, see Mid-Year Update: UFBT Process Improvement Projects.

On This Page

Subdivision Process Improvements
Rezoning Process Improvements
Building Better Together
Safety Code Inspection Efficiencies
Customer-oriented Website Enhancements
Knowledge Library

Subdivision Process Improvements


June 2019

Subdivision Process Improvement: Submit your Endorsement Packages Online! 

The Subdivision Process Improvement project (SPI) is focused on making subdivision applications easier and more efficient. As of June 10, 2019, endorsement packages are now submitted online at rather than by email. 

The endorsement process is the last step before the land developer can have their lots registered at Land Titles to legally transfer ownership of land to builders and homeowners. Automating this process by moving it online will provide consistency and tighten up timelines to get the applications ready for Land Titles. 

Subdivision Process Improvements Project Overview

Subdivision Process Improvement

Subdivision is the process of taking a large parcel of land and dividing it into smaller legal parcels of land. The subdivision planning process ensures that new infrastructure like roads, sewer pipes, and gas lines, reach all properties and that existing infrastructure can handle the additional volume.

The Subdivision Process Improvement project will implement improvements that enable an efficient and effective process. We are currently working with staff and industry to:

  • Develop a pre-application meeting service and application checklists to support industry in submitting complete applications
  • Improve collaboration, predictability and accountability in the circulation process
  • Improve the plan endorsement process to simplify the final stages of the subdivision process
  • Set target timelines to build accountability and transparency

Rezoning Process Improvements


July 2019

Testing new submission deadlines for rezoning starting in July 

Starting in July we will be testing a formal application assignment process. Applications will be accepted any time with a cut off time each week of noon on Tuesdays. Applications submitted after the Tuesday deadline will be assigned the following week.

This process will allow us to:

  • Assign the file to a planner within 2 business days.
  • Create predictability for both customers and staff and allow us to have consistent, predictable timelines for applications. 
  • Create more structure in the circulation process with external reviewing agencies for improved customer experience.
  • Help us meet our 2020 target timelines of 90 days for non-complex files and 160 days for complex files. 

June 2019

Rezoning Redesign: Target Timelines are Approved

The Rezoning Redesign project (RR) is working to improve the customer experience and reduce staff time spent on administrative tasks. We’ve reached a major milestone and are excited to announce that target timelines are now approved. 

Working together with industry, we were able to create target timelines for complex and non-complex rezoning applications. This joint effort will help create accountability for both the applicant and City staff so that we can ensure timelines are met. 

Non-Complex Applications 

The timeline for a non-complex file will be 90 calendar days (approximately 3 months). This file type can include a rezoning that complies with a plan and has minimal servicing implications. The creation of a non-complex tier will streamline applications so that staff can focus on complex files and applicants can move onto the next steps in development. 

Complex Applications 

The timeline for a complex file will be 160 calendar days (approximately 5.5 months). This file type can include a Direct Control Zone or Special Area Zone. The focus for the complex tier is predictability so that both the staff and the applicant know, from the beginning, where the major milestones are. 

Next Steps

The next steps are to develop a process and workflow to support these timelines and roll out the target timelines in late Fall. The targets will start to be evaluated in 2020, after the new process has been launched. The targets will measure an application from the submission of a complete application all the way to the public hearing. 

Rezoning Redesign Project Overview

Rezoning Redesign

Rezoning is the process of changing the land use zone from one zone to another. The Rezoning Redesign project is aimed at improving predictability and transparency within this process.

Project teams of staff and industry are working together to complete 3 improvements:

  1. Tier Framework and Data Measures: Creating tiers for applications will mean that non-complex and complex applications will be treated differently, but appropriately. Setting target timelines for each tier will build accountability and transparency. Reporting on these metrics will increase transparency and find bottlenecks to help with continuous improvement.
  2. Pre-application Process and Submission Requirements: Developing a standardized pre-application meeting service and clear submission requirements will support industry in submitting complete applications. This will lead to better applications and a smoother process for everybody.
  3. Circulation Process and Conflict Resolution Framework: A redesigned circulation process will improve integration, collaboration and streamline our work. A clear escalation process will ensure that differing opinions are resolved in a transparent way that moves applications forward.

Building Better Together Process Improvements

June 2019

Building Better Together: Timelines for Simple Projects and Service Channel for Complex Projects 

We are focused on improving customer service and timelines for industrial, commercial and large-scale residential development. Currently, we are working on 2 streams - timelines for simple projects and enhanced service through the Client Liaison Unit. 

Target Timelines 

We are currently working with industry to draft target timelines for simple permits (change of use and interior alterations) as they represent a large volume of permits. Target timelines for new buildings will be set in late 2019 after online self-serve applications for development and building permits for commercial and industrial projects become available. Applications submitted in 2020 will be measured in comparison to the target timelines. 

Development Permit (Change of Use) Current Timelines 

The data is based on permit applications from 2016-2018 and includes permits for Discretionary Change of Use, Permitted Change of Use, Exterior Alterations. The data shows: 

  • 50% of the total applications were completed in 15 business days or less 
  • 75% of the total applications were completed in 27 business days or less 
  • 85% of the total applications were completed in 38 business days or less 
  • 95% of the total applications were completed in 61 business days or less 

3118 applications represents 69% of total Major Development Permit applications from 2016-2018. 

Building Permit (Interior Alterations) Current Timelines 

The data is based on permit applications from 2016-2018 and includes permits for Interior alterations - Retail and Shops/Office Buildings. The data shows: 

  • 50% of the total applications were completed in 26 business days or less 
  • 75% of the total applications were completed in 35 business days or less 
  • 85% of the total applications were completed in 44 business days or less 
  • 95% of the total applications were completed in 62 business days or less 

2186 applications represents 32% of total Interior Alterations permit applications and 20% of the total Commercial Final Building Permit applications from 2016-2018

We conducted a pilot project to test how timelines would work across different types of applications. It showed that projects with multiple applications and complex elements would benefit from additional support and that each project would need individualized timelines based on project complexity. 

The service for complex projects will provide: 

  • Single point of contact
  • A project management approach that sets an individualized timeline based on project complexity and is jointly agreed upon by the applicant and City staff
  • Proactive, creative and efficient issue identification by engaging review staff early and often and coordinating their efforts 
  • A broader understanding of the business of planning and development that reflects the shared interest of industry and staff and understanding of the intent of a project 
  • Risk considerations relative to the final outcome in decision-making processes
Building Better Together Overview

Building Better Together

Our goal is to provide better customer service across the planning and development services for complex and non-standard projects.
This includes:

  • Establishing a single point of contact that provides exceptional customer experience for select complex, atypical commercial, industrial and large site infill projects
  • Helping speed to market through navigation of planning and development services focused on outcomes
  • Using a proactive project management approach to support integration and continuity across services

Safety Code Inspection Efficiencies Process Improvements


July 2019

Acting Branch Manager Juan Monterrosa gives an overview of the Safety Code Inspection Efficiency project with a focus on the City's efforts to reduce over management of risk in Safety Codes Inspections. This first webinar in the series explains how and why the City is excited to move forward with this project and outlines what is and what is not changing. 

In September we will distribute a webinar focused around the process the City is using to ensure this project is successful.

Safety Code Inspection Efficiencies Overview

Safety Codes Inspection Efficiencies

There are 8 mandatory and 8 discretionary safety codes inspections to ensure that buildings meet safety code standards. The Safety Codes Inspection Efficiencies project is working to identify and reduce low-risk, non-mandatory inspections, allowing inspectors to focus more time on the mandatory ones.


Data scientists from the Analytics Centre of Excellence have designed a risk-based tool to evaluate whether a building inspection would routinely pass the first time around. This data will help us predict which discretionary inspections will have a high probability of passing which will allow us to remove them.

Customer Oriented Website Enhancements Process Improvements


July 2019

Online Services for Commercial Permits

Online services for Commercial Permits are now available at

Register for a free information session to learn more.

Customer-Oriented Website Enhancements Overview

Urban Form Transformation Customer-Oriented Website

We’ve heard from customers that improving information on the City’s website is important, particularly as we shift to online self-service. Customers of all types should be able to easily find basic planning and development service information online, without having to call, email or ask questions in person.

The Customer-Oriented Website Enhancements goals are to:

  • Help customers find information required to apply for common permits
  • Ensure website content is well-organized, easy to find, easy to understand, and up-to-date

Knowledge Library Process Improvements

Knowledge Library Overview

Urban Form Transformation Knowledge Library

The Knowledge Library project will use knowledge management software to house information like procedures, policies, and process maps so that employees have a one-stop shop for information to check when doing their work.

This will help staff and customers feel confident that they are giving and receiving the most up-to-date information.

For More Information

Title Urban Form Business Transformation

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