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Letter: Coun. Loo apologizes for public hearing 'misunderstanding'

Alexa Loo said she is fully supportive of the public hearing process
Alexa Loo
Richmond city councillor Alexa Loo

Dear Editor,

Re: “Richmond councillor’s public hearing comments ‘insulting’, says resident,” Online, April 21.

I want to apologize to Ms. Gillanders and any others who misunderstood and took exception to my recent comment regarding public hearings.

As a councillor, I have supported the public hearing process for eight years and will continue to do so. I will also continue to listen to all residents on all land use matters. 

Key to this issue is “needing” a public hearing versus “wanting” one. The province recently declared public hearings were not needed if a project complies with the municipality’s Official Community Plan (OCP).

This was to avoid projects being delayed or scrapped due to location, despite fitting within the OCP. Council, however, voted unanimously to keep public hearings. They are an important step in creating and maintaining good relationships between neighbours.

They ensure we can hear concerns from the community about a development, and make sure it is functional and acceptable to the neighbourhood. Public hearings are not intended to brainstorm new land uses beyond those defined in the OCP.

At the meeting, my comment that only one resident of the Smith Road project came forward — and whose concerns about flooding were addressed — was not dismissive of other delegates.

I would like to have heard more from local residents near the project, as it is important that decisions not be made solely on the views of those outside the impacted community.

I am confident that Richmond residents do not support a “right project, wrong place” attitude and retaining the public hearing process will ensure all residents have a voice.

Richmond is undertaking a review of our OCP. I encourage everyone to register at to be a part of this and all public consultation, to read the OCP on the city website and to continue to bring your voices forward to council, through public hearings or by contacting us directly. 

Alexa Loo