Kelowna city council will soon resume sitting for public hearings.
On May 12, the city will hold its first public hearing in nearly two months, albeit with a slightly different look due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to follow the provincial guidelines on physical distancing, city planner Laura Bentley brought forward two scenarios devised by city staff.
The options were to hold the hearing in the larger Kelowna Community Theatre across the street while ensuring the total attendance didn’t surpass 50 people, or what Bentley referred to as “back-to-back” public hearings.
Council decided on the latter.
What that means is the city will schedule multiple public hearings on one night, resulting in a process similar to usual, but allowing residents to show up for only the items that interest them
“This allows us to better keep that maximum number of 50 people maintained, because we need to make sure that anyone who is interested in participating in a public hearing has the opportunity to do so,” said Bentley.
Despite wanting to ensure a 50-person maximum, Bentley told council anybody who wants to attend a public hearing must be allowed to do so and can’t be turned away even if council chambers is full.
Currently, 13 applications are in line for a public hearing.