Notices and Public Hearings 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CVRD will hold all Public Hearings electronically until further notice.

  1. What is a Public Hearing? What is a Notice of Intent
  2. Do you Have Questions About the Proposal?
  3. Submitting Your Comments
  4. Attending a Public Hearing
  5. What Happens After a Public Hearing?

What is a Public Hearing? 

  • A Public Hearing is not an information session; it is not the time to begin to learn about a proposed bylaw amendment. The purpose of a Public Hearing is for the public to present their views and opinions on a proposed bylaw amendment.
  • Members of the public should have all their questions answered in advance of the Public Hearing in order to provide comments to the elected Area Directors who are in attendance to hear the opinions of the public.
  • Anyone who considers themselves affected by a proposed bylaw amendment will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the Public Hearing, or to submit written comments.
  • The Local Government Act requires that a Public Hearing be held before the Board adopts an amendment to an official community plan bylaw, and some amendments to a zoning bylaw. 
  • Notification of a Public Hearing follows the requirements set out in the Local Government Act and the CVRD Development Application Procedures and Fees Bylaw No. 4267. Notification includes advertising in the Cowichan Valley Citizen, on the CVRD’s website, and in some instances mailing Notices to owners and occupants of surrounding properties at least ten days prior to the Public Hearing.
  • Ministerial Order M139— which was repealed and replaced with Ministerial Order M192 on June 17, 2020 — exempted local governments from statutory requirements relating to the conduct of meetings and Public Hearings and the passage of bylaws. For example, it allowed local government to conduct Public Hearings through electronic or other communication.
  • The main difference between an in-person Public Hearing and an electronic Public Hearing is that an electronic Public Hearing has no physical location where the public can attend.
  • The CVRD is using Webex for electronic Public Hearings, which is an online-based meeting platform. The public can attend by telephone or internet device (computer, phone, tablet) to listen, observe or speak during the Public Hearing.

What is a Notice of Intent?

  • A Notice of Intent provides notice to the public on matters where a Public Hearing is not required, such as the issuance of a Temporary Use Permit by resolution or the waiving of a Public Hearing for a zoning bylaw amendment that coincides with policy in the applicable Official Community Plan.
  • A Notice of Intent provides the following information:
    1. The purpose of the permit or bylaw amendment
    2. Description of the land(s) that are affected
    3. The place, time and dates for inspecting copies of the permit or bylaw amendment
    4. The place, time and date when the Electoral Area Services Committee (EASC) will consider a recommendation to the CVRD Board, who will consider a resolution on the matter.
  • A Notice of Intent is advertised in the Cowichan Valley Citizen, on the CVRD’s website, and in some instances includes mailing Notices to owners and occupants of surrounding properties.