There are no Public Hearings scheduled at this time.
A Public Hearing is a vital part of Council’s review of an application to change the District’s Official Community Plan or a Land Use Bylaw. Public Hearings provide the public with a way to present their views to Council on matters contained in the Public Hearing documents. This is Council’s opportunity to listen to members of the public, to hear their views, receive written submissions on matters related to the Public Hearing. Public Hearings are not a question and answer period, so the public is encouraged to seek further information in advance if they have any questions. Public Hearings are also not the time when Council discusses and debates the application – this occurs after the close of the hearing when third reading is being considered.
WHEN ARE PUBLIC HEARINGS HELD?
Public Hearings are held on an as needed basis on the third Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m., unless otherwise scheduled as required.
HOW ARE PUBLIC HEARINGS ADVERTISED?
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: When applicable, on-site signage is placed on a property, which provides general information about the application and contact information.
- Mail Out & Delivery: When applicable, the Public Hearing notice is mailed and/or delivered to property owners and tenants within a 60 metre (200 ft.) radius of the subject property. The notices are sent at least 10 days prior to the Public Hearing date.
- Municipal Hall: Due to the physical distancing requirements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Planning Department at Municipal Hall is closed to the public, and therefore the Public Hearing notice and background materials are not available for in-person viewing. This information is instead available through the District Website on the Public Hearings www.northcowichan.ca/publichearings webpage.
- Newspaper Advertisements. Public Hearings are advertised in local newspaper(s) for two consecutive weeks before the Public Hearing.
- District Website: Public Hearing notices are posted on the main page of the District’s website at www.northcowichan.ca
- Public Notice Posting Places: Public Hearing notices are posted on the notice boards at Municipal Hall, 7030 Trans-Canada Highway.
The purpose of the notification is to provide notice only. If you would like to know more about the proposal(s), please contact the Planning Department directly or view the information available on the website. Should you wish to participate in the Public Hearing you are strongly encouraged to talk to Planning staff to be sure to have all your questions answered prior to the Public Hearing. As previously noted, the Public Hearing is not a question and answer period – it is an opportunity for your views to be heard by Council.
HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE IN A PUBLIC HEARING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?
On March 18, 2020 a moratorium was placed on Public Hearings because of the physical distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 3, 2020 Council removed the moratorium on Public Hearings, allowing them to be held electronically with public participating via written submissions and teleconference means.
All written submissions should include your name and address and state whether you are ‘in favour’ or ‘opposed’ to the application. Submissions received in this manner will be scanned and emailed to Council prior to the Public Hearing.
Drop Box at Municipal Hall: written submissions can be dropped into the drop box at the main entrance of Municipal Hall at 7030 Trans-Canada Highway and must be received by 1:00 p.m. on the Monday prior to the Public Hearing in order to adhere to the 24 hour cooling off period for handling physical documents in accordance with the COVID-19 policy.
- By Mail: written submissions by mail to 7030 Trans-Canada Highway, Duncan BC V9L 6A1 must be received by 1:00 p.m. on the Monday prior to the Public Hearing in order to adhere to the 24 hour cooling off period for handling physical documents in accordance with COVID-19 policy.
- By Email: email submissions to PublicMeetings@northcowichan.ca must be received by 1:00 p.m. on the Monday prior to the Public Hearing.
- By Teleconference:
- If you would like to make comment during the meeting, or would like to hear the proceedings but do not have access to live stream the meeting, use the following information to connect to our teleconference:
- Call the conferencing number: 1-855-353-9183
- When prompted enter the participant code: 23896 #
- If you wish to comment, you may add yourself to the speaker's list for the topic under discussion at any time by pressing 01 on your phone. When you do this, you will be asked for your name. Please follow the instructions of the Operator
- To remove yourself from the speaker's list at any time, press #.
- When you are announced, follow the Chairperson's instructions, including stating your name and address clearly for the record, whether you are 'in favour' or 'opposed'
- Address any comments you may have to the Chairperson. Please keep your comments directed to the matter which is the subject of the Public Hearing, be succinct (three minutes maximum), and be respectful of Council, District staff and other members of the public in attendance.
- Please remain on the line after making your comments, as Council may wish to ask questions of you to clarify your statements.
- View Live Stream Video Feed: Public Hearings are live-streamed so residents can view the discussion from home. To view the live-stream please visit the Agendas, Minutes and Video webpage www.northcowichan.ca/agendas
CAN THE PUBLIC ASK QUESTIONS DURING THE PUBLIC HEARING?
The purpose of a Public Hearing is for the public to provide input and for Council to listen. Council will not respond to questions from the public. Council may, in its discretion, ask staff or the applicant to provide clarity where Council is of the view that the response will assist Council in its consideration of the application.
WHAT HAPPENS AT AN ELECTRONIC PUBLIC HEARING?
- The Chairperson calls the meeting to order, describes the procedure for the meeting and proceeds with the first agenda item.
- The Corporate Officer will then provide a summary of correspondence received as well as accept any petitions or late correspondence.
- When applicable, the Director of Planning, or designate, will introduce the proposed bylaw amendment.
- The owner/applicant will then be provided an opportunity to address Council to outline their proposal and answer any questions Council may have.
- The general public will then be given the opportunity to speak to the item. Information on how to provide input is shown in the "By Teleconference" section above.
- Everyone who wishes to speak will be given an opportunity to be heard for up to three minutes. Once everyone has had a chance to speak, those who wish to speak again to present “new points” will be given the opportunity to do so. A speaker will not debate a point of view with another speaker but will seek clarification through the Chair.
- The Chairperson calls three (3) times, to ask if anyone else would like to speak. After the third time, should no one raise their hand to speak, the public hearing is then closed.
- If there is more than one Public Hearing scheduled, the Chairperson will introduce the next matter and the above steps are repeated.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PUBLIC HEARING?
Once a Public Hearing is closed, no new information on the matter can be received by Council, including letters, emails or phone calls. This is to allow a fair process as established by provincial case law.Following the close of the Public Hearing, the Regular Council Meeting will commence (that same evening) and bylaws may be considered for Third Reading.
Please note that Public Hearings are webcast live and a recording is available on North Cowichan's website. Correspondence you submit, including name and address, will form part of the public record for the public hearing and will be published on North Cowichan's website. North Cowichan considers your name and address relevant to this matter and will disclose this personal information as it informs Council’s consideration of your opinion in relation to the subject property. However, your phone number and email address will not be disclosed.
Personal information is collected by North Cowichan under the authority of s. 26 (c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of administering the Public Hearing. Please direct any questions about personal information to North Cowichan's Privacy Officer, 250-746-3116, firstname.lastname@example.org, 7030 Trans-Canada Highway, Duncan, BC, V9L 6A1.
Please note that the information on this page is provided as a service to the public. While updated as new material comes in, there may be some timing delays. For the most current information, please visit the Development Services Department at the Municipal Hall to review the Public Hearing Binder.