Rules in place for public hearing

When the public hearing on Summerland’s proposed Urban Growth Plan takes place, rules will govern the hearing.

When the public hearing on Summerland’s proposed Urban Growth Plan takes place early next month, rules will be in place to govern the hearing.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the regulations are in place so all can present their views about the controversial growth strategy.

“We want to engage all viewpoints, for or against,” she said.

The hearing will be held at the Arena Banquet Room on Monday, March 3 beginning at 7 p.m.

Prior to the hearing, an open house will be held at the same location, from 5 to 7 p.m., to answer questions about the growth plan.

Perrino said all are welcome  to speak at the hearing, but there is to be no applause, no cheering and no jeering.

She said such responses, even applause, can deter some from expressing their views.

“People feel very intimidated with clapping and grandstanding,” she said.

Perrino made similar comments during the last municipal council meeting on Feb. 11, following applause for comments made by Coun. Peter Waterman.

At that meeting, she said she would not tolerate clapping or other responses to speakers at the meeting.

“We want to let everyone say their piece,” she said. “Everyone has a right to their opinions. Everyone.”

But others at the meeting did not think the applause was intimidating.

“They were just showing support for a viewpoint,” said Mike Holler, one of the people present for the first reading of the Urban Growth Plan bylaw.