Council adopts amended procedure bylaw to refine meeting and public hearing rules

Kitimat council has adopted new regulations to improve quorum establishment and restrict delegations in certain zoning cases. (File photo)

Council has officially adopted Bylaw No. 2047, 2024, an amendment designed to streamline municipal proceedings and align with recent changes in legislation.

The bylaw went out for public review but no comments were received.

The primary change with the bylaw is the allowance of an extra 15 minutes to establish a quorum before a meeting is adjourned.

This adjustment is aimed at enhancing the functionality of council meetings and associated committees.

Previously, the absence of a quorum led to the automatic adjournment of meetings. The new provision allows additional time for staff to contact members to establish a quorum, thereby improving the efficiency of meetings.

Another significant amendment is under Subdivision 7 of the bylaw, which restricts delegations in cases where a public hearing is not required or legally allowed. This change aligns with the recent provisions of the Local Government Act, specifically sections 464 and 481.3, which dictate when public hearings for zoning bylaws are unnecessary.

These scenarios include instances where a zoning bylaw is consistent with an official community plan and primarily facilitates residential development, among other criteria.

This legislative update addresses procedural challenges and clarifies the conditions under which council may forgo public hearings.

By limiting delegations in these cases, council aims to prevent quasi-public hearings during regular council delegations, ensuring a clear and orderly legislative process.

The bylaw has also been amended to allow limited public commentary on agenda items where delegations are otherwise restricted. This ensures that community members still have an opportunity to voice their opinions in council proceedings, even within the streamlined legislative framework.

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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