Public Hearings

PUBLIC HEARINGS
Council appreciates your interest in local government and welcomes your participation at Public Hearings. There are a few formal rules to help clarify the procedure for you.

Public Hearings are held from time-to-time in the Council Chambers, or a larger venue, when Council is considering the adoption of, or amendments to, either the Town’s Official Community Plan or Zoning Bylaw. Public Hearings are regulated by the Local Government Act of B.C.

PURPOSE
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 his or her interest in property is affected by the proposed bylaw shall be given an opportunity to be heard. Council wants to hear from you.

It is important to note and understand that Council has not made up its mind on the issue. While a Council member may have a position on an issue, they each come to the Hearing with an open mind, to listen to and hear from the public. You are being given the opportunity to persuade each member of Council to your way of thinking. Each person does make a difference. Please speak up.

No member of the public who deems his or her interest in property is to be affected will be, or should feel, 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.

SPEAKING AT A PUBLIC HEARING
If you would like to speak at the Hearing and there are several speakers, a Speaker’s List may be used.
 
  1. Please sign your name and residential address on the speaker’s list.
  2. Speakers will be called in order from the list.
  3. Begin your comments by stating your name and address.
  4. Your comments must be specifically related to the subject of the Bylaw and be directed to the Chair.

Members of Council may ask questions of you following your presentation to seek clarification on the points you have raised. However, the main function of a Public Hearing is to listen to your view.

DEBATE
Council will not debate the merits of the proposed bylaw nor enter into dialogue with the public at the Hearing. There is no opportunity at the hearing to debate points-of-view expressed by other speakers at the meeting.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS
Written submissions will form part of the public record and cannot be received after the Hearing closes. Be sure to submit your letters or written comments before or during the Hearing. Submissions form part of the public record. All documents received during the Hearing are available to the public for review.

AFTER THE PUBLIC HEARING IS CLOSED
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.

After concluding the Public Hearing, Council will then resume the regular or special Council meeting. The related zoning or Official Community Plan bylaws to permit the proposed changes are then brought forward for consideration of third reading under the Bylaw section of the Council Agenda later in the same evening, if on the agenda, or at the next available open meeting at which time Council members discuss, express opinions and make a decision. Council may either:

(a) adopt or defeat the bylaw;
(b) alter then adopt the bylaw provided that the alteration does not
i alter the use,
ii increase the density, or
iii without the owner’s consent, decrease the density of any area from that originally specified in the bylaw.

QUESTIONS ON THE PUBLIC HEARING PROCESS?

If you have questions on the Public Hearing process, please call the Corporate Officer at 604-886-2274.