Interested in planning and building-related matters? Learn about the planning advisory committees and how you can participate in their public meetings.
What are Planning Advisory Committees?
Planning Advisory Committees (PACs) are made up of citizen volunteers and one to two councillors. PACs meet once a month to review development applications. They are advisory bodies to Community Council.
There are currently two PACs:
- Halifax Peninsula (Parts of Districts 7, 8, 9)
- North West (Districts 13, 14, 15, 16)
What are the objectives of a PAC?
I. Planning Documents
Planning Advisory Committees advise Community Council about the preparation or amendments of planning documents affecting their districts.
II. Planning Matters
Planning Advisory Committees advise Community Council respecting “planning matters,” or any decision of Community Council related to land use and development.
III. Public Meetings
Planning Advisory Committees host public meetings for municipal planning strategy amendments.
What is a Public Meeting?
Planning Advisory Committees (PACs) host public meetings for public consultation and feedback early in the development proposal process.
No decisions are made during public meetings. Meetings are normally held in the community that would be affected by the proposal. The responsibility of the PAC is to ensure that everyone at the meeting has a fair opportunity to participate in the process.
How are PAC public meetings different than public information meetings or public hearings?
PACs, in districts where they exist, host public meetings on proposals that would require changes to a Municipal Planning Strategy.
Regular public information meetings, on the other hand, provide consultation on a variety of applications. Public hearings differ as they provide the last opportunity for consultation, before a decision is made at Council.
What is the role of the PAC during the public meeting?
The role of the PAC is to facilitate the meeting. They receive input from planning staff, the applicant, and the public. The Committee Chair will host the meeting, while other members listen and watch the proceedings. At a later meeting, the Committee will discuss the proposal and give advice to staff and Community Council.
What will happen during a public meeting?
The Planning Advisory Committee will be seated at the front, as will members of staff. Planning staff will introduce the proposal and give its context.
Next the applicant will have 10 minutes to present their proposal. The Chair of the Committee will call the names on the speakers list in order.
Ground Rules for Speaking
- One speaker at a time
- Respect all points of view
- Speaker to provide name and community name for record
- No clapping or applause
How do I sign up to speak?
A signup sheet will be available before the meeting begins. Anyone who wishes to speak may add their name to the list. If you haven’t added your name to the speakers list, you may still speak when the Chair calls for more speakers.
How do I submit written comments to a PAC?
Written comments may be submitted to the Municipal Clerk’s Office at any time before or after the public meeting. Your comments must include at least your first initial and last name.
What will happen to my written comments?
Your written comments will be distributed to members of the PAC and staff. They will be kept on file as part of the public record.
How else can I provide input?
The final decision on all applications is made by the elected officials at Council. Other opportunities will be available for your input throughout the process by:
- Attending the Council meeting or public hearing
- Contacting the staff planner assigned to the case
- Submitting correspondence or a petition through the Clerk’s Office
How can I learn more about PACs?
More information regarding PACs, including minutes and agendas, is online:
Submit an application to join a PAC
Learn about volunteering on municipal boards and committees, and submit your application online.
Further questions regarding Planning Advisory Committees may be directed to the Office of the Municipal Clerk.