Public Hearings are held as needed to provide residents with an opportunity to express their views and opinions on rezoning matters and proposed changes to the Official Community Plan.
In accordance with the Local Government Act, a Public Hearing must be held after Council has given first reading to a Zoning or Official Community Plan Bylaw, and before Council can give third reading to the same bylaw.
Public hearings are advertised in the Undercurrent for two consecutive weeks and online in accordance with Section 466 of the Local Government Act. Notices of zoning amendment applications may also be delivered to owners and occupants of surrounding properties, and applicants must post notice of the public hearing on the property in question.
Participating in the Public Hearing Process
Public Hearings are open to all members of the public. If you believe that you are affected by a proposed land use application, you may make a presentation at, or submit written comments at or prior to, a scheduled Public Hearing.
Attending Public Hearings
Council welcomes your participation at Public Hearings. There are a few formal rules to help clarify the procedure.
A Public Hearing is held for the purpose of Council receiving comments from the public, either in person, by attorney or by letter. At the Public Hearing, any person present who believes that their interest in property is affected by a proposed bylaw shall be given an opportunity to be heard.
Written Submissions at a Public Hearing
Written submissions will form part of the public record and cannot be received after the Public Hearing closes. Be sure to submit your letters or written comments before or during the Public Hearing. All documents received during the Public Hearing are available to the public for review.
Speaking at a Public Hearing
If you would like to speak at a Public Hearing , please sign your name and residential address on the Speaker's List. Speakers will be called in order from the list. Begin your comments by stating your name and address. Your comments must be specifically related to the subject of the bylaw and be directed to the Chair (the Mayor). There is no opportunity at the Public Hearing to debate points of view expressed by other speakers at the hearing.
The main function of a Public Hearing is to listen to your views. Council will not debate the merits of the proposed bylaw nor enter into dialogue with the Public at the Hearing.
No person who deems their interest in property will be affected by the bylaw will be discouraged, intimidated or otherwise prevented from making his or her views known. Therefore, please refrain from applause or other expressions of emotion whether you favour or oppose any particular application or argument. Inappropriate language, outbursts or criticisms aimed at individuals or groups will not be condoned.
After the Public Hearing is Closed
After all representations have been heard, Council may refer the bylaw(s) without debate to a meeting of Council. Council members are not permitted to receive further submissions or hear either a proponent or opponent to an application once the Public Hearing has been concluded.
When the Bylaw is Considered by Council
After the Public Hearing is closed, the bylaw(s) goes forward to Council for consideration. Council may either:
- adopt or defeat the bylaw(s);
- alter, then adopt, the bylaw(s) provided that the alteration does not:
- alter the use,
- increase the density, or
- without the owner's consent, decrease the density of any area, from that originally specified in the bylaw.
If you have questions about the Public Hearing process, please contact the Planning Department.
Last Updated on 2018-01-04 at 2:52 PM