Hearings are open to the public.
Persons who file an appeal are encouraged to make a verbal presentation to the Board. Persons who have been notified of the appeal also have the right to present a verbal, written and/or visual presentation to the Board.
Please note that the Board is the master of its own procedures. The Board may decide to deviate from the normal hearing process if it deems it necessary in the interest of an efficient hearing and/or to ensure procedural fairness.
If desired, parties may have someone, or an agent, speak on their behalf. If a number of appeals are filed on the same development, it is recommended that a spokesperson be selected to organize presentations so that evidence is not repetitive.
The Board is not an evidence seeking body. It relies on written evidence presented, as well as verbal submissions made at hearings, as the basis for its decisions. It is therefore critical that persons appearing before the Board ensure that sufficient evidence is presented to support their respective positions.
The presiding Chair announces each appeal and will call a representative of Development/Subdivision Authority to present the application and their corresponding report and the reasons for the Development/Subdivision Authority’s decision.
For a development or subdivision appeal, the Chair will then ask for:
- - All speakers in favour of the appeal (persons who filed an appeal or support the position of the appellant).
- - All speakers opposed to the appeal (persons who oppose the position of the appellant).
For an appeal against a Stop Order, the speaking order is slightly different. A representative for the Development Authority will speak first and then the Chair will ask for:
- - All speakers in favour of the enforcement order (persons who oppose the position of the appellant).
- - All speakers opposed to the enforcement order (persons who filed an appeal or support the position of the appellant).
Individuals who have presented their case will be given an opportunity for rebuttal once the Board has questioned the Development/Subdivision Authority on any planning issues raised during the proceedings. Rebuttal is an opportunity to refute information and evidence presented since the last time you spoke that you could not have reasonably anticipated. It is not an opportunity to reargue your case or create new argument.
When presenting an appeal, keep in mind the Board does not consider precedent when making its decision. Each application is judged on its own merits. The Board has no way of knowing if sites presented as a precedent were built, with or without the benefit of a development permit, or whether they have another status under the Land Use Bylaw.
In accordance with the legislation that governs the SDAB, the Board can only consider relevant planning matters when rendering its decision. Some examples of planning matters may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Compliance with planning legislation
- Impact on neighbouring properties.
Matters not related to planning include comments regarding a person's character and commercial competition. If persons stray from planning matters, the Chair will advise accordingly.
Exhibits used during a presentation become part of the Board's record of the hearing and are retained in keeping with The City of Grande Prairie’s Policy.