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Local governments hold virtual hearings

Local governments hold virtual hearings

A number of online public hearings are scheduled by the Town of Gibsons, the SCRD and the District of Sechelt for the remainder of July.
Each of the events can be accessed by telephone by those who cannot participate using the internet. There are also opportunities for written submissions to be provided by members of the public. The Province gave BC local governments the ability to host these hearings online rather than in person earlier this year to respect the physical distancing requirements in place to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
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Gibsons held hearings on proposed bylaw changes related to three issues on July 14. The subject bylaws included a proposed zoning amendment to permit a cannabis production facility at 1037 Venture Way.
Also open for public comment were proposed amendments to both the Town’s zoning and Official Community Plan (OCP) bylaws related to secondary suites. The intent of those changes is to promote the development of more affordable housing units within the Town. Should the new bylaws be endorsed, secondary suites would be allowed to be constructed in duplexes and townhouses, in addition to single family residences.
Gibson’s bylaws relating to short term accommodation rentals (STRs) was the third subject for Gibsons most recent public hearing. The Town proposed amendments to its zoning, business licencing and notice of enforcement bylaws to further regulate these types of accommodation businesses. Similar to the bylaw proposed by the SCRD that was the subject of a public hearing on June 30, Gibson’s is looking to restrict STRs to properties that have on site management.
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The SCRD scheduled two online public hearings in mid-July. On July 14, it hosted a hearing to solicit input on zoning and OCP amendments to facilitate a 10-lot bare land strata subdivision at 1457 North Road, in West Howe Sound. On July 21 at 7pm, an SCRD public hearing will be held regarding the proposed Secret Cove Heights development on Stephens Way in Halfmoon Bay. To proceed, this development would require amendments to both the zoning and OCP designation of their location. The proposal is seeking a higher density for the area, with smaller lots that would accommodate residential, agricultural, and small business uses. Details on how to take part in that hearing are available on
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The final July Coast local government public hearing is set to be hosted online by the District of Sechelt on July 28 at 7pm. This hearing is related to an OCP amendment for the proposed Trellis Silverstone Seniors Care Facility planned for West Sechelt. Information on how to participate in this hearing is available on
In late June, Sechelt issued notice of its intention to waive the public hearing process on an OCP amendment for an eight-lot subdivision at 6317 Bligh Road, near the intersection of Bligh and Mills Roads, in West Sechelt. The proposed new OCP designation would allow for a high density of residential units on the property. That potential change was scheduled to be in front of council at its July 15 meeting.
Connie Jordison

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