Boards & Commissions
Public Hearing Procedures
Public hearings are held every other Wednesday. An item scheduled for public hearing will be voted upon immediately following the close of the public hearing, unless a majority of the Commissioners present vote to defer action or to continue the public hearing.
The Planning Director prepares a Consent Agenda comprised of those applications upon which there is consent as to the request and the recommendation. These are listed as the first items on the agenda. A Consent Agenda item will not have a separate public hearing unless someone requests to speak on the item. The Consent Agenda may be voted upon in total at the same meeting, or, any item on the Consent Agenda will be removed by the Chairperson if there is a request by the public or staff to speak on the matter, or at the request of a Commission member. Items removed from the Consent Agenda will be placed as the second item on the agenda and scheduled for a separate public hearing and will be voted upon immediately following the close of the public hearing, unless a majority of the Commissioners present vote to defer action or to continue the public hearing.
Nature of Testimony
The role and function of the Planning Commission is to advise the legislative and administrative branches of government concerning planning matters. Testimony before the Commission should therefore concern the planning aspects of the matter being heard. A written statement supporting or opposing an agenda item may be submitted to the Commission as a part of the public hearing in order to be included as a part of the public hearing minutes.
The Commission may ask questions of persons testifying. There will, however, be no cross-examination or direct questioning in front of the Commission between proponents and opponents. All questions and testimony must be directed through the Chair.
Material and testimony submitted should be as factual as possible.
Presentation of Testimony
Applicants will be requested to present their testimony first. The applicants, or their representatives shall first state their names and addresses and, if the party appearing is not the applicant, the nature of the representative's capacity. The applicant should state:
- Why the applicant desires the action requested.
- Why the application is in accordance with sound planning practices.
Following the applicant's testimony, other persons wishing to speak on that particular agenda item will be called upon to present testimony in the following order: (1) proponents of the application, (2) opponents of (or those seeking information about) the application, and (3) rebuttal by the applicant. Each person should first state their name and address, and then present the reasons why they feel the application is not in accordance with sound planning practices.
The applicant will be entitled to a brief rebuttal after the opponents' testimony is concluded.
Five (5) minutes for testimony is preferred as a maximum; however, no more than 30 minutes should be taken by either proponents or opponents. The Chairperson may grant additional time in advance of the meeting for items of major significance. The Commission may also grant or deny requests for more time.
Large groups in attendance concerned with an application should choose one or two spokespersons to present the group's testimony. The spokesperson may have the group stand to give the Commission an idea of the number of persons sharing similar viewpoints. Remember, however, that the Commission is interested in factual information.
Individuals speaking for themselves and also groups' spokespersons should not present testimony previously given. The Chairperson of the Commission shall reserve the right to discontinue at any time repetitious or irrelevant testimony.
If you have any questions about the public hearing procedures, please contact Jean Preister, Administrative Officer, in the Planning Department 402-441-6365.