A Public Hearing is a vital part of Council’s review when applications are made to change the City’s Official Community Plan or Zoning Bylaw. A Public Hearing is the primary means for the public to present their views to Council on the item(s) contained in that evening’s Public Hearing agenda. The Public Hearing is Council’s opportunity to listen to members of the public. The purpose is not for Council to discuss and debate the topic. Simply put, the public speaks and Council listens.
When are Public Hearings Held?
Public Hearings are held on an as needed basis typically just prior to a Regular Council Meeting held on the third Monday of every month, unless otherwise scheduled as required.
Staff and Council want to ensure that residents have adequate notice and access to information on bylaw amendments. For example, if there is a rezoning proposal that you are interested in, there are a number of ways to find out more about the proposal and when the Public Hearing will be held:
- On-Site Signage: Where applicable, on-site signage is placed on a property, which gives general information about the application, and provides contact information.
- Mail Out & Delivery: Where applicable, Public Hearing notices are mailed and/or delivered to property owners and tenants subject to the proposal and other owners within a 60 metre radius of the subject property. The notices are sent at least 10 days prior to the Public Hearing date.
- City Hall: The Public Hearing notice and background materials are available for viewing at the City Hall between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm, for at least 10 days prior to the scheduled Public Hearing. The agenda for the meeting will be available for viewing before the Public Hearing.
- Newspaper Advertisements: Public Hearings are advertised in local newspaper(s) for two consecutive weeks before the Public Hearing.
- City Website: Public Hearing notice and meeting agenda is posted on the Meeting Calendar.
- Public Notice Posting Places: Public Hearing notice is posted on the notice boards at the City Hall at 200 Craig Street.
Speaking at a Public Hearing
At the Public Hearing, all persons who consider their interest in property affected by a proposed application, will be given an opportunity to present their views to Council. Council requests that speakers keep their comments to the subject of the proposed rezoning – specifically to land use only. View the Public Hearing Information Sheet and the Public Hearing Process Policy for more details on the process. Written submissions may also be submitted to Council during the Public Hearing and will be read into the official record.