Virtual Public Hearings

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public hearings are held electronically to provide virtual access to City Council meetings, which can be viewed on our live stream webcast.

How To Participate

You can indicate your support or opposition to a Virtual Public Hearing item in one of the following ways:

  • Submit written comments:
    You can provide your submission by email to publichearings@victoria.ca or by mail to Legislative Services, #1 Centennial Square, Victoria, BC V8W 1P6, or drop your submission in the mail slot on the right side of the Pandora Avenue entrance to City Hall. The deadline for submissions is 2 p.m. on the day of the Council meeting when the Public Hearing will take place. Written submissions will be published on the Council Meeting Agenda.

  • Submit a pre-recorded video:
    Pre-recorded video submissions up to five minutes in length can be submitted and will be played at the Public Hearing. The video is to include:
    • Public Hearing item
    • Your first and last name
    • Your home address 
    • Whether you support or oppose the item

For further instructions, email publichearings@victoria.ca or phone 250.361.0571. The deadline for submissions is 2 p.m. the Tuesday before the Council meeting.

  • Pre-register to speak live via phone: 
    You can pre-register to speak live via phone for up to five minutes. Once registered, you will be provided with a phone number and access code to call during the live Council meeting. To register to speak live and receive further instructions, email publichearings@victoria.ca or phone 250.361.0571. The deadline to pre-register to speak live via phone at the meeting is 2 p.m. the day before the Council meeting.

    When you pre-register by email or phone, please provide:
    • Public Hearing item
    • Your first and last name
    • Your home address
    • Whether you support or oppose the item

NOTE: If you aren't able to pre-register, please watch the live meeting as there will be an opportunity for you to call in at the end of the list of pre-registered speakers. A phone number and access code will be provided during the live meeting. You will be muted until asked to speak by announcing the last 4 digits of you phone number.

Call-in Instructions:

  • Your comments must be relevant to the item being considered at the Public Hearing.
  • You will have five minutes to speak.
  • Watch the live meeting to hear when your item is under consideration. Note: there is a one-minute delay in the live stream.  
  • Call in using the phone number and access code we provided you. Say your name when prompted. You will be put on hold until it’s your turn to speak. You will be connected as soon as possible (your turn is determined by the order of calls received).
  • When it's your turn to speak, staff will unmute your call and announce that you are the next speaker.
  • State your name and address and the item you are speaking to.

Reminders:

    • Turn off all audio devices of the live meeting when you are speaking on the phone to prevent feedback. 
    • Do not put your phone on speaker phone.

Privacy

Please note that the opinions you express orally and any presentations you submit to the City of Victoria will be webcast live and will be recorded to form a part of the public record. Correspondence you submit will form part of the public record and will be published on the agenda. The City considers your address relevant to this matter and will disclose this personal information as it informs Council’s consideration of your opinion in relation to the subject property, and is authorized under section 26(c) of FOIPPA Act. Your phone number and email will not be disclosed. For more information on the FOIPPA Act please email foi@victoria.ca 

What You Need to Know

Unless otherwise noted, Public Hearings are held on the second and fourth Thursday evenings beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Victoria City Hall, 1 Centennial Square. 

You can search upcoming and previous Public Hearings, including meeting agendas, minutes and reports, as well as watch live meetings and archived webcasts here

Details about a specific application and other relevant documents and information is available on the City’s online Development Tracker.

For more information about the Public Hearing process, please contact Legislative Services at 250.361.0571 or legislativeservices@victoria.ca.

The Process 
The Local Government Act requires that a Public Hearing be held before Council adopts an amendment to the Zoning Regulation Bylaw, an Official Community Plan (OCP) Bylaw or a land use contract termination.

At least 10 days before the Public Hearing is held, a notice is sent to property owners and occupiers within a radius of 100 metres of the subject property. In addition, a notice is published in two consecutive issues of a local newspaper.

At the Public Hearing, all persons who consider their interest in property affected by a proposed zoning or OCP Bylaw amendment, will be given an opportunity to present their views to Council. It is requested that speakers keep their comments to the subject of the proposed rezoning.

Did You Know?

  • At the Public Hearing, Council will not debate the merits of the proposed bylaw nor enter into dialogue with the public. There is no opportunity at the hearing to debate points-of-view expressed by other members of the public.
  • Presentations or submissions must be received by Council before the Public Hearing. When the Public Hearing is closed, Council is not permitted to receive or consider any further submissions.
  • After the Public Hearing, Council will discuss, express opinions and vote on the third reading and adoption of the proposed bylaw amendments. If Council does not support the bylaw at third reading, the bylaw may be defeated or Council may postpone its decision until further information is received from staff. Council may only receive information from staff and the information may only address issues raised at the Public Hearing.

  • It is important to note and understand that Council has not made up its mind on the issue. While a Council member may have a position on an issue, they each come to the Public Hearing with an open mind, to listen to and hear from the public. You are being given the opportunity for Council to hear your views and opinions on the application.

Council is committed to ensuring that all people who speak at a Public Hearing are treated in a fair and respectful manner. No form of discrimination is acceptable or tolerated. This includes discrimination because of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or economic status. This Virtual Council Chamber is a place where all human rights are respected and where we all take responsibility to create a safe, inclusive environment for everyone to participate.