If you have an opinion on a Committee of Adjustment (CoA) application the best thing to do is show up to the meeting and say your piece. But that's hard. It turns out you can also email your comments to the panel and they do consider your opinion.
OttWatch will shortly add a better interface for this, but in the mean time, here are some tips for making your voice heard on local CoA matters. Thanks to the CoA team and a clerk who kindly answered my email queries on the topic. They said:
- Yes – you send your comments in by e-mail and yes, the Committee does consider e-mail comments when making their Decision.
- You can file a comment on an application that is coming before the Committee of Adjustment by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, preferably five days before the Public Hearing.
- Please ensure that detailed reasons are provided for any concerns, objections or support of an application, and that they relate directly to the planning matter that is before the Committee.
- Please also note that any information you choose to disclose in your correspondence, including personal information, will become part of the public record.
- If you wish to be notified of the Committee’s decision on the application, you should also include this request in your written communication. The written Decision will be mailed to you once it becomes available.
So, to re-cap
- Email email@example.com. Best to do that early - panel members need time to read it beforehand.
- Include the application numbers (i.e. D08-02-13/A-00439).
- Provide detailed reasons. Preferably reference some existing Ottawa policy that supports your position, if you can.
- If you want to know what happened, include your mailing address and explicitly ask to be notified of the result.
Good luck! The next round of hearings is on February 5th. Here's the list of applications that are on the agenda.