What is a Public Hearing?
Public hearings are your chance to share your opinions and views on specific topics with City Council. These hearings are open for anyone to speak at or to submit written comments to (before 12:00 PM the Monday before the hearing).
Public hearings are typically held to discuss:
- planning and development related matters (such as rezoning of residential areas);
- new bylaws or changes to existing bylaws; and
- road closures
Fill out the Public Hearing Submission Form
What will happen during the Public Hearing?
- Administration will provide an overview of the topic.
- The applicant (or their designate) will be allowed five minutes to speak to the proposal.
- The Chair, who is typically the Mayor or designate, will then call the names on the list of speakers in order. Each person may speak for a maximum of five minutes.
- If you don't add your name to the list, there is still an opportunity to speak. After all the names on the list have been called, the Chair will call three times for any additional speakers. You can indicate your wish to speak at that time.
- City Council may then choose to ask questions of any of the presenters. Once all their questions are answered, the Chair may call the public hearing closed.
After the public hearing has been closed, the matter cannot be discussed further. City Council may make their decision at that time, or they may defer it to a future date. They will not hear any further speakers or accept any further written comments on the topic.
How can I participate in a Public Hearing?
Anyone may submit a written submission or give a verbal presentation to a public hearing.
A written submission provides your comments directly to an item as part of the agenda, and will be received by City Council in advance of the public hearing when the agenda is published. This may allow Council to consider your comments prior to the public hearing.
A verbal presentation is open to anyone, any group or any representative to articulate their position on a public hearing topic. These presentations are received at the public hearing and form part of the archived video recording of the meeting.
How do I submit written comments for a Public Hearing?
You may submit written comments for a public hearing to the City Clerk's Office.
Your comments must include your first and last name. You may also wish to provide your address, telephone number, and email address. This information will be used to create the speakers list.
Written comments must be received before 12:00 P.M. the Monday, 8-days before the public hearing is scheduled.
What will happen to my written comments?
All information submitted will become part of the public record, and will appear as part of the agenda for the public hearing, unless you expressly request the City Clerk's Office to remove it.
Personal information is being collected under the authority of Section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and will be used for purposes of managing and administering the public hearing and to schedule you as a speaker. If you have any questions regarding the collection and use of your personal information, please contact the FOIP Coordinator at 403-329-7329.
All meetings of City Council are recorded. The City maintains a video archive of all City Council, Community Issues Committee meetings and public hearings.
How can I ensure my presentation or comments are clear?
The following suggestions may assist you in clarifying your position on a public hearing.
- A written submission that highlights the issue and provides your position; and
- Pictures or maps to provide visual clarity.
Together, these items may assist in providing clarity around your written or verbal comments.
When and how will I find out about the final decision of the Public Hearing?
City Council may choose to make a decision the same day as the public hearing or defer their deliberations until a later date.
Final decisions will be reflected in the Minutes of the meeting in which the item was voted on. Minutes can be found at: agendas.lethbridge.ca/AgendaOnline.
How can I learn more about the Public Hearing?
After the proposed bylaw receives first reading, the proposed bylaw and information about it are located on the City's website.
You can also get a copy of the proposed bylaw and related information from the City Clerk's Office.