|Council Approves Temporary Process for Development Applications||April 8, 2020|
Chilliwack, BC: To help municipalities operate in compliance with the Public Health Order prohibiting gatherings, the BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General recently issued a Ministerial Order that states that councils are not required to allow the public to attend open meetings at this time. Via virtual meeting, on April 7, 2020, Chilliwack City Council voted to implement a temporary process for development applications and to close Council meetings to public attendance. These measures enable the development application process to continue safely and in compliance with Provincial Health Orders.
This altered process will apply to rezoning applications that are consistent with the Official Community Plan (OCP), development variance permit applications, temporary use permit applications, and liquor licensing referrals. Applications that would require an OCP amendment will be held at second reading pending the development of a development application procedure that meets the requirements of the provincial health officer.
While open meetings will be closed to public attendance, public input will still be sought for development applications. The public notification process will remain the same with signage, notifications and advertising. The temporary change is that affected parties must provide input to Council by written submission only by 4 p.m. on the Monday before the item is to be considered by Council.
“This is new territory for all of us and I’m happy that we were able to find a way to continue this important process,” said Mayor Popove. “Being able to safely consider applications will help keep people working now, and make it easier to return to business as usual without a large backlog of applications.”
While Council meetings will be closed to public attendance, each meeting is live streamed at chilliwack.com/live. Written submissions from affected parties that include a full name and address can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, mailed to or dropped off at City Hall.
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