I still don't really understand what happened and what it actually means for development or communities. So it's approved as a now non-statutory planning guidance document to help build local area plans? Isn't that what it's intended purpose was from the start?
Perhaps I am forgetting the rationale for why the guidebook was a needed thing in the first place. The revised local area plans totally makes sense to me (larger, more efficient, easier to update and keep current) but I don't really understand the level of drama around the guidebook and how it connects to the land use bylaw that actually does things (I think?).
The LAPs will now have to stand alone with the guidebook as existing at the time effectively appended to them. So if the city wants to change something in the guidebook and make it apply city-wide, every LAP will have to be amended.
If that isn’t done (and it probably won’t be), then the LAPs will diverge from one another more and more over time (as the ARPs have), making rules and interpretations less and less consistent. That may eventually make the LAPs just as irrelevant to land use changes as the stale ARPs have become. It may also make it easier for certain communities (looking at you, Elbow Park) to duck modernizations to community planning over the next few decades.
This is all pretty speculative so hard to say exactly how the politics and administration decisions interact over time but that’s my guess.