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Red Deer County News

Posted on: October 24, 2018

Public Hearings - How They Work

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Have you ever asked yourself “what is a public hearing” or “what purpose does a public hearing serve”?

A public hearing is required for a new bylaw or bylaw amendment that is being brought forward for Council’s consideration. A bylaw can include an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw or it can be for a redesignation to rezone a parcel of land (i.e. from agricultural district to country residential district). All bylaws require a public hearing and three readings.

The purpose of first reading is to basically get the application on the table before Council, so that a public hearing date can be set. Once first reading to the bylaw is given, Council will set the public hearing date. In accordance with the Municipal Government Act, the public hearing date must be advertised once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in at least one newspaper or publication circulating in the area.

The public hearing is open to the public. It provides an opportunity for the public to contribute to the discussion by expressing their comments and/or concerns with regards to the application before Council. The public hearing is the only time where the public can speak to Council on the application that is before them. Council does not debate with the public at first, second or third readings.

If a person is not able to attend a public hearing as an affected adjacent landowner, they can also submit letters to County administration expressing their comments and/or concerns. These letters will accompany the Council report that is presented at second reading.

If second and third readings are granted to the bylaw, the bylaw is passed and takes effect.

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