The Planning Review and Adjustment Committee (PRAC) is appointed by the Greater Miramichi Regional Service Commission (GMRSC) Board of Directors to carry out advisory and decision-making functions as specified under the provincial Community Planning Act. The role of the PRAC is very important to enacting new by-laws under the Community Planning Act and administering existing by-laws under the Act. The decisions made by the PRAC can have a significant impact on how development occurs in the Greater Miramichi Region. Responsibilities of the PRAC, with respect to current planning and developments, include but are not limited to:
- Making decisions on the following planning applications:
- Dimensional variances to Zoning Regulations;
- 'Similar or compatible use' variances;
- Conditional uses;
- Extending legal non-conforming uses; and
- Temporary uses
- Make decisions on the location of public streets, or provision of other suitable access in a proposed plan of subdivision, in unincorporated areas (Local Service Districts (LSDs))
- Provide advice to Councils (Villages of Blackville and Doaktown, City of Miramichi, and Rural Community of Upper Miramichi) on applications to amend Zoning Regulations and/or Plans
- Provide advice to Councils on subdivision proposals where new infrastructure (e.g. roads), public right-of-ways, easements, or dedications for land for public purposes are involved
Decisions and recommendations made by the PRAC are guided by the provisions of the Community Planning Act and any regulations and by-laws thereunder. The deliberations of the Committee are supported by analysis and advice provided by Planners. Recent changes to the Community Planning Act now enable Development Officers to approve or deny dimensional variances. However, a Development Officer still reserves the right to forward any variance application to the PRAC for review. In addition, the Development Officer also has the authority to approve simple subdivisions that comply with the requirements of Zoning Regulations and do not involve new infrastructure, public right-of-ways, easements, or dedications for land for public purposes.
The activities and procedures of the PRAC are guided by the 'PRAC By-law & Operating Procedures', which is located in the GMRSC Policies section.