Public Hearings and Public Meetings

A Public Hearing provides interested stakeholders the opportunity to communicate their interests directly to Council. 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.  

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.

Items for consideration at a Public Hearing/ Meeting are published in the local paper (Peace Arch News) and on the City's website. A notice is mailed to owners (occupants) of properties within 100 metres of the property/properties subject to the application in advance of a scheduled Public Hearing.

How to Participate in a Public Hearing/ Meeting

Public Hearings/ Meetings are open to all members of the public. If you believe that you are affected by a proposed land use application, you may participate in the process by submitting written comments by email or mail or by attending in-person.

  1. 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
  2. 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 not the time to ask questions in regard to the application. If you have questions in regard to the proposal please contact staff ahead of the meeting
    • Decorum must be maintained at all times. We ask the public to listen quietly and respect each person's right 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
  3. 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

After the Public Hearing/ Meeting

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 Director of Corporate Administration at or call 604-541-2278.

Additional Opportunities for Engagement

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.

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. 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.

How to participate:

Public Information Meetings (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 their comments to City staff and the applicant for a response in the chat. Digital “Feedback Forms” are also created to support a formal record of comments received. 

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).