CITY of North Vancouver council will take a look at its policies on signing up speakers for public hearings in the wake of controversy at last week's hearing for the Onni Group's Safeway site project.
Council voted to have staff prepare a report on how other municipalities handle sign-ups, and what options for change are available. The motion came from Coun. Rod Clark.
At issue was Onni's development manager Dionne Delesalle who arrived as soon as the public hearing sign-up list was released at 4: 30 p.m., and signed up dozens of Onni supporters.
The move isn't against any rules but it did sully the experience for some, Coun. Pam Bookham said. "As we discovered last week, the lack of detail in our public hearing policy allowed certain things to happen that led to a less-than-satisfying night," she said.
The vote to examine the policy was unanimous, but some on council were cautious about unintended consequences that could hinder legitimate signups.
It should be noted the vast majority of public hearings are run smoothly and to the satisfaction of everyone involved, Mayor Darrell Mussatto said, to the agreement of council.
The existing sign-up policy, which is posted on the city's website and is included in the agenda packages for public hearings, states that the sheet becomes available at 5 p.m. on the day of a public hearing. In actual practice, the sheet has been available at 4: 30 p.m. for more than two years, according to city staff, and the city documents have not been updated since.
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