Notices and Public Hearings
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CVRD will hold all Public Hearings electronically until further notice.
- What is a Public Hearing? What is a Notice of Intent
- Do you Have Questions About the Proposal?
- Submitting Your Comments
- Attending a Public Hearing
- 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- Ministerial Order M139— which was repealed and replaced with Ministerial Order M192 on June 17, 2020 — exempted local governments from statutory requirements relating to the conduct of meetings and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:
- The purpose of the permit or bylaw amendment
- Description of the land(s) that are affected
- The place, time and dates for inspecting copies of the permit or bylaw amendment
- 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.
Do You Have Questions About the Proposal?
- Notices will appear on this page (above) during the advertising period. Each advertised Notice has a list of links to further information, be sure to click on ALL the links to ensure you’ve read all the relevant information, such as:
- Notice of Public Hearing or the Notice of Intent;
- Application submitted by the applicant;
- CVRD Staff Report;
- Proposed amendment bylaw or proposed permit; and
- Public comments submitted to-date (for Public Hearings only).
- With respect to a Notice of Public Hearing, the information that is posted on the CVRD’s website is also available in hard copy in the Public Hearing Binder, located at the CVRD main office at 175 Ingram Street, during office hours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays), during the notification period.
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is requested that appointments be made for viewing the binder. Please call 250.746.2620 to make an appointment.
- With respect to a Public Hearing, 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.
- After viewing all the advertised information either online or in-person, questions should be directed to CVRD staff by:
- Calling 250.746.2620
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attending in-person at the CVRD main office at 175 Ingram Street, during office hours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays).
Submitting Your Comments for a Public Hearing
- You can provide your comments for the Public Hearing by submitting written comments in advance of the hearing, and/or by attending and speaking at the Public Hearing.
- Check the Notice of Public Hearing for the submission deadline and be sure to provide your written comments by the deadline date.
- All written submissions should include the author’s first and last name, and home address (do not include your phone number or email address, if this information appears it will be redacted).
- All written submissions received by the CVRD will be posted to the CVRD Website and added to the Public Hearing binder, which is maintained at the CVRD main office and available for public inspection by appointment from the start of the public notice period until noon on the day of the Public Hearing, or as stated on the Public Hearing notice.
- Written submissions for a Public Hearing can be submitted in the following ways:
- By email: email@example.com
- By mail: 175 Ingram Street, Duncan, BC, V9L 1N8
- In person at the CVRD: located at 175 Ingram Street, during office hours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)
- In person during the Public Hearing: attend the hearing and drop off a written submission. (Currently, this option is not available for electronic Public Hearings)
Submitting Your Comments for a Notice of Intent
- Under normal circumstances, the public is welcome to attend CVRD meetings in person and to speak during the Public Input Period, held at the beginning of each regular meeting. However, during the current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, physical meetings are not being held and the public is advised to review the information posted here regarding the Public Input period.
Attending a Public Hearing
- You will need a phone or an electronic device with internet service to attend an electronic Public Hearing using Webex Events.
- Attendees of the hearing will have the opportunity to speak during the hearing, but can also attend to observe/listen without having to speak.
- All members of the public wishing to attend an electronic Public Hearing by using a computer, or other online device, are encouraged to register in advance to ensure device and audio compatibility.
- Ways to attend an electronic Public Hearing include:
Call-in by Phone
Use the toll free number (as well as the meeting number and password) provided on the Notice for calling in.
To speak during the meeting press *3 on your phone’s keypad, this will raise your hand electronically and you will be in a queue for speaking.
Audio participation only
Use the website address and meeting number as provided on the Notice to register in advance and to obtain a link for joining the event.
To speak during the meeting click on the hand icon in the lower right side of the screen, this will raise your hand electronically and you will be in a queue for speaking.
Audio participation only
Your video image will not be broadcast
- Additional details on how to register for a Webex event, are available here.
- If you have trouble connecting at the time of the meeting, please call the CVRD at 250.746.2500, ext. 2222, for technical assistance.
How is a Public Hearing Conducted?
- Please join the event 15 minutes in advance of the start time, as the hearing will begin promptly at the advertised time.
- The Chair of the meeting is an elected CVRD Director. The Chair conducts the meeting and will call the meeting to order. They will explain the general procedures for conducting the hearing. The Chair will ask the public in attendance if they have questions about the Public Hearing procedures.
- CVRD staff will introduce the proposed bylaw and provide a brief summary of the amendments being considered.
- The Chair manages the speakers and will invite attendees to speak one by one. Everyone who wishes to speak will be given an opportunity to be heard.
- During an electronic Public Hearing, your audio is muted until it is your turn to speak.
- When it is your turn to speak, you will need to state your name and address clearly for the record.
- Before declaring the Public Hearing closed, the Chair will call three times to ask if anyone else would like to speak. Once there are no further speakers the hearing will be closed and there will be no further opportunity to provide public comment on the bylaw.
What Happens After a Public Hearing?
- Once the hearing has ended, new submissions or information cannot be received by the Board.
- A written report of the Public Hearing is prepared and maintained as a public record, and is forwarded to the CVRD Board.
- As specified in the Local Government Act, the Board can, without further notice or hearing:
- adopt or defeat the bylaw, or
- alter and then adopt the bylaw, provided that the alteration does not
- do any of the following: (a) alter the use; (b) increase the density; (c) without the owner’s consent, decrease the density of any area from that originally specified in the bylaw, or
- alter the bylaw in relation to residential rental tenure in any area.