Changes at City Hall. (Chilliwack Progress file)

Council meetings now closed to the public in Chilliwack

Changes comply with provincial orders for no public gatherings and help development applications

Development applications will be temporarily processed in a new way at Chilliwack city hall, and council meetings are now closed to the public, after council voted on these changes April 7 in order to comply with provincial no-gathering rules.

“This is new territory for all of us and I’m happy that we were able to find a way to continue this important process,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “Being able to safely consider applications will help keep people working now, and make it easier to return to business as usual without a large backlog of applications.”

The changes will apply to rezoning applications consistent with the Official Community Plan (OCP), development variance permit applications, temporary use permit applications, and liquor licensing referrals.

Given the prohibition of public gatherings, the BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General recently lifted the requirement that city councils allow the public to attend open meetings. Via virtual meeting on April 7, Chilliwack council voted to implement a temporary process for development applications and to close council meetings.

Applications that would require an OCP amendment will be held at second reading pending the development of a development application procedure that meets the requirements of the provincial health officer.

While regular open meetings of council will now be closed to the public, public input will still be sought for development applications. The public notification process will remain the same with signage, notifications and advertising.

“The temporary change is that affected parties must provide input to council by written submission only by 4 p.m. on the Monday before the item is to be considered by council,” according to the release.

Each meeting is live streamed at Written submissions from affected parties that include a full name and address can be emailed to, mailed to or dropped off at City Hall.

READ MORE: Hearings cancelled and facilities closed

READ MORE: No walk-ins welcome at city hall or fire department

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