Planning Advisory Committee
The Planning Advisory Committee is comprised of members of City Council the community appointed under Section 8 of the Planning Act. The Planning Advisory Committee functions as a first step in the planning process by advising City Council on a wide variety of land use issues related to specific development proposals. The Planning Advisory Committee weighs comments received from abutting property owners, residents, and local agencies concerned when preparing recommendation for Council's consideration.
Purpose of Planning Advisory Committee (PAC)
- PAC makes recommendations to City Council on a variety of planning matters (e.g. plans of subdivision, condominiums, rezoning applications, and changes to the Official Plan.)
- PAC has no legislative powers.
- PAC is appointed by Council to listen to the concerns of citizens and developers, evaluate recommendations made by the planning staff and make recommendations to Council.
- Recommendations are usually to approve, approve with conditions, or deny applications.
- Members of PAC include both elected City Councillors and other people appointed by Council. There are seven members, including a chairperson.
- Public notices are sent by mail to all persons listed on the assessment rolls within 120 metres of the property affected. Newspaper notices are also used. Notices advise of the date, location and time that PAC and Council will consider matters, as well as the name of the applicant, the location of the property affected and a brief description of the matter.
- Anyone may attend PAC meetings. You do not need to have received a notice and you do not need an invitation. You are encouraged to attend and express your concerns so that PAC has all of the information it needs to make a recommendation. Meetings may be lengthy, in order to give everybody who wishes to speak an opportunity.
- PAC meetings are an open public forum where anyone concerned about a proposal can ask questions and express their concerns.
- In a normal PAC meeting, the Chairperson opens the meeting with an introduction of the PAC, and identifies the various items on the agenda for that meeting. A Planning staff member and Secretary-Treasurer to the PAC explains the application and the applicant then makes a presentation. PAC members then ask questions of the applicant. The general public is then invited to speak. PAC members may ask you further questions.
- If you have an interest in a particular matter you can attend the scheduled meeting. When an item on the agenda is considered, any person who is interested in the matter will be invited to speak. You may also submit your concerns in writing to the Planning Services Department and it will be given to the PAC.
In order to make your presentation effective, please follow these guidelines:
- Introduce yourself. We need to know who you are, where you live and whom you represent.
- Focus on planning matters (i.e. proposed use and the regulations affecting buildings) and indicate how you are affected and what your concerns are.
- Do not repeat concerns raised by previous speakers. If you agree with them, say so.
- Speak to the Chairperson and avoid arguments with the applicant or others. PAC is interested in your ideas. They may be different from the opinion of others.
- Be calm. Relax. This is an informal procedure. There are microphones so that we can hear you. The Chairperson will guide you.
- Finally, after discussing the matter, the Planning Advisory Committee will request that Planning Staff prepare a report based on Planning Policy and input from the public and applicant.
- The Planning Report goes back to the Planning Advisory Committee for their recommendation to City Council.
- Council ultimately decides all recommendations made by PAC. Council usually considers the application several weeks after the PAC meeting. A notice will be sent to you which will indicate the date and time of Public Meeting at City Council.