Development appeals are addressed under sections 683 to 687 of the Municipal Government Act. The following summary does not provide an explanation of all of the development appeal sections and focuses on those sections that are most frequently dealt with by the SDAB.
Section 685 speaks to the grounds for appeal and who has the right to submit an appeal. Section 686(1) pertains to the time frame in which a notice of appeal can be submitted. The MGA makes reference to the term "affected person" with regard to grounds for appeal, who can file an appeal and who must be notified of the SDAB's hearing. The term "affected person" is not defined in the Municipal Government Act and it is up to the SDAB to determine whom they deem to be "affected". The Board determines affected persons on a case-by-case basis. For example, an affected person could be someone who feels the enjoyment, use or value of their property may be affected by the proposed development. The onus is on the person to show they are affected by the development.
All appeals are advertised in the paper and any party who feels they will be affected by the proposed development has the right to appear before the Board and explain why they are affected. The Board will then make a determination as to whether that person is an "affected person" with respect to the proposed development.
The SDAB is required to hold a hearing within 30 days of receiving a notice of appeal in accordance with section 686(2) of the Municipal Government Act. The SDAB is also required under section 686(3) of the MGA to provide notice of the hearing, in writing, to the appellant, the Development Authority, those owner(s) required to be notified under the Land Use Bylaw and those persons the SDAB considers to be affected by the appeal.
Pursuant to section 686(4) of the Municipal Government Act, before the commencement of the hearing, the Board must make available for public inspection all relevant documents and materials respecting the appeal. This information report includes the application for the development permit, the decision, the notice of appeal and any order issued under section 645 of the Municipal Government Act. The report is made available to the public and the SDAB one week prior to the SDAB hearing.
Section 687(1) of the Municipal Government Act directs who the SDAB must hear from at the hearing:
- the appelant, or his/her representative;
- the Development Authority;
- any person who was given notice of the hearing, or his/her representative; and
- any person who claims to be affected by the order, decision or permit, or his/her representative, that the SDAB agrees to hear.
In accordance with section 687(2) of the Municipal Government Act, the SDAB must issue a written decision, together with reasons for the decision, within 15 days of concluding the hearing.
In determining an appeal, the SDAB is bound by section 687(3) of the Municipal Government Act. The SDAB has the authority to confirm, revoke or vary an order, decision or development permit or conditions of approval. The SDAB can substitute an order, decision or permit with its own decision.