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RM conducting Public Hearings for planning matters - with some changes

Posted: June 9, 2020

 
RM conducting Public Hearings for planning matters -
with some changes


 
      


On March 20, 2020, the Manitoba government declared a province-wide state of emergency to ensure they were able and ready to address the effects of COVID-19.


After the declaration and consistent with the public health orders from the province, the RM office was closed to public access and Council meetings were held via video conference with no public hearings.

Effective May 22nd, the province increased indoor gatherings to 25 people while still maintaining a separation of at least two metres from others - except for brief exchanges.  This change has given us the opportunity to safely resume holding public hearings for planning matters such as variation orders, conditional uses and subdivisions.

Several applicants have been waiting since March to have their applications heard.  We will be addressing the backlog of planning applications in the order in which they were received and/or are complete.  Some of the changes to the public hearings include the following:


Designated start times

To ensure council chambers can accommodate those wishing to appear for a specific hearing, we have assigned a start time for each public hearing.  This prevents from having to attend the general meeting start time and sit through several hearings before the one they may be specifically interested in.  We are estimating a half hour for each hearing with 15 minutes in between each to disinfect the room and building touch points, move people in and out safely and allow those attending with time to sign in.


Hearings will start at 2:00 pm

Public hearings usually start at 5:30 pm.  In order to have additional staff available (during their regular work hours) for the logistics as mentioned above, we have temporarily moved the hearings to begin mid-afternoon.  As is always the case, if a resident is not able to attend the public hearing personally, they can share their support or opposition for the application in writing via email to:  planning@eaststpaul.com or by dropping off a letter at the RM office.  All correspondence will be shared at the hearing.


Capacity issues

If more people attend a hearing than is possible to accommodate indoors (in keeping with the provincial indoor gathering guidelines) we will have additional space for participation provided in the Plaza.  Those who are in the Plaza and wish to speak to the application will be afforded the opportunity to do so in chambers.


Prior to each public hearing date, the RM emails a link to the Red River Planning District's website where you can review details on each application coming forward.  If you have signed up to receive RM notifications, you will automatically receive this link.  If not, you can sign up for email notifications at the bottom of the RM's website's homepage, or go directly to the Red River Planning District's website at:  https://www.redriverplanning.com/hearings.php?rural_id=6


Public hearing notices are also posted at the RM office.

As we move forward with these hearings, we will evaluate and adjust as necessary.

If you have any questions in regards to the public hearing process or individual applications, you can contact Cara Nichols, East St. Paul Community Development Planner at planning@eaststpaul.com or (204) 668-8112.

 

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