Most appeals will be resolved by an oral hearing; however, the APAB may permit the appeal to proceed by written submissions only, if all parties consent.
Wherever possible, hearings are held in or near the community where the Appellant resides or where the property is situated. The hearing will proceed in the language in which the Appellant files the Notice of Appeal. All hearings before the APAB are held in public. A notice of upcoming hearings can be found on the Assessment and Planning Appeal Board webpage.
Hearings before the APAB are conducted in a somewhat formal manner. Oral testimony is subject to cross-examination. Rules of evidence are not strictly enforced, though there are limits on what is acceptable (i.e., usually based on the relevance of the documents or testimony to the issues raised in the case).
The APAB is responsible for the conduct of the hearing and will explain the process to be followed and how evidence is to be presented. The order of procedure will depend upon the grounds alleged in the Notice of Appeal. In most cases, the Respondent would present their evidence first and the Appellant would follow. However, where the ground for the appeal pertains to the allegation of special or unreasonable hardship under the Community Planning Act, the Appellant would proceed first.
If the appeal is brought by a third party who is appealing an approval given to another property owner, then the property owner is also entitled to participate in the hearing. The property owner’s evidence would be heard immediately after the Respondent has proceeded.
During the course of the hearing, any member of the panel may direct questions to a witness.
If the Appellant or his/her agent fails to appear at the hearing after having been duly notified of the time, date and place, the appeal will be dismissed.