Have Your Say on Reforming Public Engagement on Land-Use Bylaws

by The British Columbia Law Institute and Courthouse Libraries BC

Clicklaw is helping to spread the news to our community partners when important events or opportunities come up. The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) is seeking the public’s views on legislation requiring public engagement on local land-use bylaws. Public hearings have been a feature of BC’s land-use legislation for local governments for about 100 years.

BCLI recently released its Consultation Paper on Renovating the Public Hearing, which gives readers information on the current law regarding public hearings for land-use, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and a range of options for reform.

Last fall, BC passed Bill 44, a new law that limits the use of public hearings. Recently, critics have questioned whether public hearings are serving the purpose of providing a deliberative forum to assist local governments in making decisions on land-use planning. In this consultation, BCLI hopes to hear from all members of the public, and looks forward to receiving comments that will assist the BCLI Renovate the Public Hearing Project Committee in developing its final recommendations for reform.

The Renovate the Public Hearing Project provides an opportunity to think about public engagement on land use from first principles, consider new insights into group deliberation, and create a better way for local governments to engage the public.

Copies of the consultation paper, a short backgrounder summarizing its contents, and a link to their survey are all available at the project webpage. The consultation is open until 15 March 2024.

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