Public Hearings & Public Meetings
The City engages with the public in different ways for different purposes. While they sound similar, Public Hearings / Meetings, Public Information Meetings and Open Houses have distinct purposes and formats.
Public Hearings / Meetings
A public hearing / meeting is held by the City to consider bylaw and permit applications. Public hearings / meetings are mandated and conducted in accordance with the Local Government Act. At a public hearing / meeting, the public is given an opportunity to be heard or to present written submissions on matters about the proposed bylaw / permit application.
Public Information Meetings: Applicants are required to hold Public Information Meetings for certain types of development applications, in accordance with the City's Planning Procedures Bylaw (PDF). The meetings provide opportunities for the public to give feedback on applications and ask questions of the applicants. The main purpose of the meetings is to gather feedback from residents so the applicant can address any concerns early in the process.
Open Houses: Open Houses are held by the City and are less formal sessions in which members of the community can learn more about ongoing or upcoming projects from City staff and provide feedback.
Format of a Public Hearing / Meeting
At a public hearing / meeting, the public shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard or to present written submissions on matters about the proposed bylaw / permit application. No one will be, or should feel, discouraged or prevented from making their views heard.
Before the Public Hearing / Meeting Starts
- When you enter the room, sign up on the speakers list in order to appear as a speaker before Council
- Print your name and city of residence on the list
- Individuals will be called in the order that their name appears on the list
Speaking at a Public Hearing / Meeting
Speakers will be called up in the order that they placed their name on the speakers list. Anyone wishing to speak at the hearing/meeting must be acknowledged by the Chair.
- Begin your comments by stating your name and city of residence
- State if you are in support or not in support of the application
- Each speaker has a maximum of five minutes and may appear a second time with additional information or to finish their comments
- Please take the opportunity in advance to review materials closely as you will only be permitted to comment on the proposal as presented
- The Public Hearing is note the time to ask Questions in regard to the application. If you have questions in regard to the proposal please contact staff ahead at the meeting
- Decorum must be maintained at all times. We ask the public to listen quietly and respect each person's rights to voice their opinion
- Comments are to be directed to the application, be succinct and be respectful of Council, staff and other members of the public, everyone has the right to state their point of view
- If you have any questions, please email or contact relevant City staff with any questions ahead of the hearing / meeting
Speaking with a Petition at a Public Hearing / Meeting
- If you have a petition with you, please read out the information at the top of the petition
- Note the number of signatures
- Submit the document to the Director of Corporate Administration
Any person who wishes to present a written submission to Council may do so.
Should you have any comments or concerns you wish to convey to Council and you cannot attend the Public Meeting, please submit in writing to the Director of Corporate Administration by Noon on the day of the Public Hearing/ Meeting. You may forward your submissions by:
- Emailing the Director of Corporate Administration with the name of the Public Hearing/ Meeting typed in the subject line
- Mailing or delivering to the Director of Corporate Administration at:
White Rock City Hall
15322 Buena Vista Avenue
White Rock, BC V4B 1Y6
- Copies of submissions will be available on request following the hearing / meeting
- Submissions are kept by the Director of Corporate Administration, and copies of submissions will be included in their entirety in the public information package and will form part of the public record
Members of Council may, if they wish, ask questions of the speaker following their presentation. It is the main function of Council members at the hearing / meeting is to listen to the views of the public. It is not the function of Council at this time to debate the merits of the proposal with individual citizens. This is the opportunity for the Public to speak and Council to listen.
After the Public Hearing
Council members cannot accept any further information or submissions after the close of the Public Hearing; this is to allow a fair process as established by provincial case law.
NOTE: The address of the speaker is permitted to be collected through Section 26c of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. If the speaker has any questions or concerns regarding the collection of their personal information, please contact the City Clerk.