Public Hearings Project


The Local Government Act enables a municipality or regional district to hold a public hearing as part of the process to adopt a planning or land-use bylaw. Except in narrowly defined circumstances, whenever a local government seeks to adopt an official community plan, a zoning bylaw, or a bylaw providing for the early termination of land-use contracts, it must hold “a public hearing on the bylaw for the purpose of allowing the public to make representations to the local government respecting matters contained in the proposed bylaw.”

This project involved the development of a study paper to address (1) the origins of this requirement in the Local Government Act and of the use of public hearings in land-use regulation, (2) how this legislation has been interpreted and developed in the case law, and (3) the goals and purposes of this legislation. This study paper was published on April 6, 2022.

Keywords: local government; land use; planning; zoning; official community plan; city; regional district; municipality; Local Government Act; public hearing; public participation; democracy; administrative decision-making; procedural fairness; natural justice; housing, tenancy, and neighbours; rights and citizenship; administrative law and tribunals



The Public Hearings Project was made possible by funding from a continuing programs grant by the Law Foundation of British Columbia


Related Files

Below you will find additional, relevant and specific documentation, backgrounders, research, resources, media releases and summaries that have been, or will be incorporated into our final publications and study papers.

If you have questions about these or other specific documents, please reach out to BCLI using our contact page or at the bottom of each page of our website.