After 8 months of grinding through city hall we now have a development permit and all necessary building permits.
We have faced all of the scrutiny that the city planning department could throw at us. No comments at all about the house we intend to build. But we had to make sure the house fits into the overall community plan, respect the privacy of our neighbours, analyze the soil and slope we are building on and prove we are building a house that meets the current building code requirements.
The whole process took about 5+ months longer than we anticipated but now we are good to go! Let the building begin.