New rules for public hearings in BC

Development applications that follow a city's Official Community Plan won't need to go to a public hearing, thanks to new BC-wide rules

By Grace Kennedy | October 28, 2021 |5:26 am

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Changes to BC’s Local Government Act are removing the need for some public hearings in an effort to make it easier to increase housing supply.

The province put forward amendments to the act, which governs how municipalities are run, that would allow councils to not hold public hearings for zoning bylaw amendments, if a proposal is consistent with the Official Community Plan. Developers wanting to add more density than is laid out in a community’s OCP would still need to go through the public hearing process, so residents can weigh in on the proposed changes. (For more on how OCPs guide city planning, check out the Current’s story on Abbotsford’s Official Community Plan that envisioned a walkable “city of centres” as the community’s future.)

To ensure transparency, the province will require that municipalities put out a public notice of a rezoning before council gives first reading to the amendment.

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Grace Kennedy

Reporter at Fraser Valley Current

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