Public Hearings and Public Meetings

White Rock City Council Chambers

The following information outlines the purpose and format of various public engagement opportunities tied to planning and development applications as well as longer-range City building efforts.

Opportunities for Engagement

Public Information Meetings (PIM):
Applicants are required to hold Public Information Meetings for most types of development applications in accordance with Schedule E of the City's Planning Procedures Bylaw (PDF). These meetings are scheduled early in the review of an application(s) and are intended to raise local awareness of a proposal while enabling an applicant(s) to address initial questions and comments from interested stakeholders. 

Public Hearings: 
Applications for Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment, Zoning Bylaw amendment (rezoning), Phase Development Agreements, amendments to Land Use Contracts, and applications for Liquor and Cannabis License Resolution Requests are subject to a Public Hearing.  A Public Hearing provides interested stakeholders the opportunity to communicate their interests direct to Council.

Public Meetings:
Public meetings are non-statutory meetings required in the review of applications for Major Development Permits, and amendments or extensions to such permits, which include a variance, a Development Variance Permit, a Temporary Use Permit, and requests for the purchase of a municipal right-of-way.  A Public Meeting provides interested stakeholders the opportunity to communicate their interests direct to Council. 

The City advertises both the public hearings and public meetings as follows: mail to owners (occupants) of properties within 100 metres of the property/properties subject to the application and notice of the application(s) in the Peace Arch News (PAN); note that for statutory Public Hearings notices are published in two consecutive weekly PAN publications. The City’s Event’s Calendar also includes reference to upcoming Public Hearings. 

When the City receives multiple applications which would necessitate both a public hearing and a public meeting the two required meetings would typically be held together. 

Open Houses:
Open Houses are commonly hosted by the City as part of longer-range planning efforts and may be used as a complement to statutory meetings, for example those that are required in support of an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment. The format of an Open House is often tailored to the role that the public will play in supporting future decision making efforts, ranging from “inform” (e.g., raising awareness of the project) to “empower” (e.g., enabling the public to be directly involved in crafting new policy).

How to Participate

If you have received notice of an upcoming event and/or believe you are affected by a land use application you can participate in the event in the following ways listed below.

Meeting Type
Ways to Engage
Public Information Meeting

PIMs are currently being held as “live events” using Microsoft Teams. Those wishing to participate in a scheduled PIM can access a “direct link” to the live event by finding the date of such event within the City’s Event’s Calendar

The meeting is carried out as a digital meeting during which City staff will introduce a proposal and then turn the floor over to the applicant. The applicant will then provide an overview of their proposal. A question and answer period follows this overview. Participants are able to provide, via a chat function, their comments to City staff and the applicant for a response, where applicable. Digital “Feedback Forms” are also created to support a formal record of comments received.
Public Hearings and Public Meetings
Public Hearings and Public Meetings are both held using the same format. These meetings will be conducted as a Microsoft Teams meeting. Interested members of the public are able to join the meeting remotely by phone. Pre-registration is required for those wishing to speak to the application; the Mayor may also allow those who have not pre-registered the opportunity to speak if there is a desire to do so.

Open Houses
The format of an open house will be dependent on the project and will likely include a variety of engagement methods.

  1. Watch Online
  2. Participate by Phone
  3. Write to Council
  4. In Person

Public Information Meetings
See City’s Event’s Calendar for direct link to the Microsoft Teams “live event”.  Email for additional support if unable to identify the direct link. 

Public Hearing / Public Meeting
Access via telephone only.
Meetings can be view on City's video livestream here.

Open House
Details regarding online engagement opportunities will, in most cases, be posted to the City’s Event’s Calendar and within a project-specific webpage accessible through the Talk White Rock web platform.

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.

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.

  1. Begin your comments by stating your name and city of residence
  2. State if you are in support or not in support of the application
  3. Each speaker has a maximum of five minutes and may appear a second time with additional information or to finish their comments
  4. Please take the opportunity in advance to review materials closely as you will only be permitted to comment on the proposal as presented
  5. 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
  6. Decorum must be maintained at all times. We ask the public to listen quietly and respect each person's rights to voice their opinion
  7. 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
  8. 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

  1. If you have a petition with you, please read out the information at the top of the petition
  2. Note the number of signatures
  3. Submit the document to the Director of Corporate Administration

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.