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 a Zoning Bylaw. Public Hearings are regulated by the Local Government Act of B.C.
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.
A five-minute time limit is in effect for people who wish to speak at a Public Hearing. A further three minutes is permitted to those wishing to speak a second time on new information, provided that all members of the public who are present have had an opportunity to speak once.
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 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.
You can register in advance to speak at a Public Hearing by calling Town Hall at 604.886.2274 or by emailing your name and residential address to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, names will not be added to the pre-registration list after 4 pm on the day of the hearing. Everyone who wants to speak at the hearing will be given an opportunity, but those who have registered in advance will be allowed to speak prior to the floor being opened to all others in attendance.
Speaking at a Public Hearing
- If you would like to speak at the Hearing, but have not pre-registered, please add your name and residential address to the Speaker’s List upon arrival at the venue.
- When the Public Hearing begins, pre-registered speakers will be called, in alphabetical order by last name.
- Once all the pre-registered speakers have spoken, the floor will be opened to all others in attendance who have signed the Speaker’s 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.
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.
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.
If you are unable to attend the Public Hearing, or prefer to submit your comments in written form, you may do so by sending your written submission to the Town’s Planning Department as follows:
- By email: email@example.com
- By standard mail: Planning Department, PO Box 340, 474 South Fletcher Road, Gibsons, BC, V0N 1V0
- In person: Planning Department, 474 South Fletcher Road, Gibsons, BC, V0N 1V0
- By fax: 604.886.9735
We encourage the public to send written submissions by noon on the date of the Public Hearing. Presentations or submissions must be received by Council before the Public Hearing for that application is concluded, as Council is not permitted to receive or consider any further submissions or information after the conclusion of an item.
Please note that all correspondence submitted to the Town of Gibsons in response to a Public Hearing consultation will form part of the public record and will be published in a meeting agenda, which is posted on the Town’s website, when the matter is before Council.
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
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.