Public hearings are a formal process held by City Council to receive public input on development projects that require amendments to the Zoning Bylaw or Official Community Plan.
Public hearings take place between the second and third readings of a bylaw amendment, and are usually held at 6 pm at the beginning of a regular Council meeting. The public may also submit comments in writing prior to the meeting.
New: Electronic public hearings
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Port Coquitlam will be holding public hearings electronically via Zoom video conferencing until further notice.
Participating in the Electronic Public Hearing
To speak at the public hearing, you will need:
- The Zoom app on your smartphone, tablet or computer (go to this page for instructions and tips),
- An internet connection (wired or WiFi),
- Use of your computer or device’s speakers and a microphone OR headphones with a microphone, and
- The Zoom meeting number above.
To watch the public hearing without providing comment, view the webcast.
Joining the electronic public hearing:
- Go to the Zoom website.
- Click on “Join a Meeting.”
- Enter the Meeting ID for the public hearing listed above (there is no password).
- Click “Join” – You are now in the public hearing and can listen to the comments of other speakers and Council. Please make sure your name is clearly entered.
- While listening to the comments being made in the public hearing, please keep your personal mic muted and your personal video off.
- If you desire to speak to the item in question at the public hearing, when the Mayor calls for speakers, please raise your hand by pressing the “Raise Hand” function.
- When the Mayor calls your name, please un-mute your mic and share your comments. You may choose to turn on your personal video while making your comments, so Council can see you, but this is not required.
- Once you have finished speaking and Council has no questions for you, you may remain in the meeting to hear other speakers. If you remain in the meeting, please mute your mic and shut off your video.
- You may speak more than once in the Public Hearing if you desire. To speak again, simply raise your hand again.
Questions and answers about electronic public hearings
Public hearings are supposed to be open to the public. How can you hold this public hearing without allowing people to attend in person?
The Provincial Government issued a Ministerial Order (MO139) to enable local governments to safely hold public hearings to make important land use planning decisions while following the Provincial Health Officer’s order prohibiting mass gatherings and the advice to maintain physical distancing of two metres. Section 15 of the MO139 allows public hearings to be conducted by means of electronic or other communication facilities. The Ministerial Order applies during the state of emergency.
What will happen if physical distancing recommendations end before the date of a planned electronic public hearing and in-person meetings become possible?
Changes to the Public Hearing procedures are not permitted after notification is undertaken. Therefore, as long as the Ministerial Order allowing for electronic public hearings remains in effect, any scheduled electronic public hearings will be held electronically regardless of the situation with COVID-19,
In the event that the Ministerial Order expires and is not renewed, and no further directive to allow for electronic public hearings is received from the Provincial Government, the electronic public hearing will be cancelled and a regular public hearing scheduled for the next available date.
What equipment do I need to join the electronic public hearing?
Please see the ‘Participating in the electronic public hearing’ section above..
I do not have the means to participate in the electronic public hearing but would like to provide input. What can I do?
Please see ‘How do I make a written submission’ section below.
Can I provide verbal input by dialing into the electronic public hearing with a telephone?
No. You will not be able to dial into the electronic public hearing by telephone.
My concerns about cyber security are preventing me from participating in this public hearing. Can I still participate in the electronic public hearing?
The only way to participate in the electronic public hearing is by joining the Zoom video conference.
However, we encourage you to submit written comments to be entered into the public record. Please see ‘How do I make a written submission’ section below.
What if I become disconnected during the electronic public hearing?
Simply re-connect to return to the public hearing. There are no limits on how many times you can leave and re-enter the electronic public hearing.
Please note that when you leave the electronic public hearing while you are in the speakers’ queue, you will lose your place. If you wish to speak when you return, you must use the ‘raise your hand’ function again.
If you are not confident that you can join the electronic public hearing and stay connected, you are encouraged to submit your comments in writing to be entered into the public record. Please see ‘How do I make a written submission’ section below.
What is the notification process?
Notice of the time and place of each public hearing is placed in two consecutive issues of the local newspaper and includes information about the general intent of the proposed bylaws and the property address.
The notice is also posted on the notice board in front of City Hall, and is sent to the owners and occupants of properties within 120 metres of the boundaries of the subject property.
Where do I get information about the bylaw?
Copies of the proposed bylaw and the relevant background reports can be reviewed on this page (above) or at City Hall with an appointment at the Corporate Office (2nd Floor – City Hall) during regular business hours.
Questions about the proposed bylaw and its development application should be directed to Development Services at 604.927.5244.
What happens at a public hearing?
All public hearings, in person or electronic, follow a similar procedure:
- An opening statement is read, outlining the hearing procedures.
- The Corporate Officer informs Council of any written submissions received prior to the public hearing.
- The Director of Development Services gives a descriptive overview of what is proposed by the bylaw.
- The applicant is given an opportunity to comment on the application.
- Members of the public are invited to make verbal submissions.
- The speakers then indicate whether or not they support the bylaw and why.
- During in-person public hearings only, speakers may also present written submissions to the Corporate Officer.
- Members of Council may ask questions at any time but will not speak their views or debate the bylaw.
- When there is no one else wishing to speak, the public hearing is then closed.
- There may be more than one public hearing held on the same night.
- The public hearing is live-streamed and recorded online for public viewing through the City’s website archives.
- By attending the public hearing in person or electronically, you consent to your personal information being collected and disclosed as per sections 26(c), 26(g), 33.1(1)(q), and 33.2(a) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
How do I make a written submission?
You may submit your comments in writing prior to the public hearing (ideally by noon on the day of the hearing):
- By email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or
- By mail to Corporate Office, 2580 Shaughnessy St., Port Coquitlam, V3C 2A8.
Please note: All correspondence submitted to the City of Port Coquitlam in response to a Public Hearing consultation will form part of the public record and will be published in a meeting agenda, which is posted on the City’s website when the matter is before the Council. The City removes reference to personal names, addresses, and emails before posting the information online for public access.
What happens after the public hearing is closed?
After a public hearing is closed, Council is not permitted to listen to any further delegations or receive any written submissions on the same bylaw.
Usually, Council will consider third reading of the bylaw on the same night as the public hearing, but may postpone the vote to a future Council meeting and/or request additional information from staff.
At third reading of the bylaw, Council decides whether it wishes to proceed with the bylaw, make changes to the bylaw, or not proceed.
Location and Mailing Address
2nd Floor, City Hall
2580 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam BC
Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)