Community Comment: Hearing and Notification Procedures
Last summer, the City formed an advisory group to review the notification processes associated with public hearings for land use applications. The group reviewed current business practices and noticing procedures, including those dictated by State and City Code. This group also provided feedback on a pilot project that involved expanded notification of public hearings and the use of alternative site postings. The group’s work culminated in a series of recommended changes to internal operating procedures, as well as potential amendments to the Development Code. The ultimate goal is to provide greater transparency and facilitate additional opportunities for public comment on land use applications.
In addition to changes to internal operating procedures, the City is considering the following changes to the Development Code:
Require Applicants to Provide Additional Notice
Applicants are currently required to provide seven days post-marked notice of neighborhood meetings. The City is considering increasing this requirement to ten business days.
Expand City-Provided Radius Notice
The City currently sends mailed notice of public hearings to owners and occupants within 300 feet of project sites. We are considering expanding the mailing radius to a minimum of 500 feet for the following projects:
- Amendments to the land use designation previously determined in the comprehensive plan. (Comprehensive Plan Amendments)
- Changes in the zoning for parcels of land. (Rezones)
- The act of dividing a parcel of land into parcels for development. (Subdivisions)
- A permit for use that is allowed within the zoning district based on specific conditions to ensure the proposed use is compatible and will not have an adverse impact on the surrounding area. (Conditional Use Permits)
- A permit that provides some allowances to dimensional standards if development is clustered, provides amenities, and preserves natural features. (Planned Unit Developments)
- A process to allow a use that is prohibited in the current zoning district. It is intended for uses that would be of equal or lesser impact than those permitted in that zoning district. (Special Exceptions)
With each of these project types and others, the City maintains the discretion to expand the notice even further as the situation dictates.
Comprehensive Updates to Site Posting Requirements
City staff currently posts all sites for public hearings with a laminated 11” x 17” sign. The City is considering a comprehensive update to site posting requirements that will require applicants to post sites using a City-provided template. The Code would include detailed standards for installation including, but not limited to: location, orientation, materials, and number of signs. Additionally, a larger, 4’ x 4’ sign would be required for project types that fall into the 500-foot radius category outlined above in the second item.
Meeting Timeframes and Requirements
Currently, pre-application meetings can occur 6 months to 1 day before the applicant submits their application and neighborhood meetings can occur within 6 months and no more than 5 days prior to submitting the application.
The City is considering amending the Development Code to require pre-application meetings occur prior to neighborhood meetings so applicants may be relayed best practice information on how to hold a neighborhood meeting. Also for consideration is to require neighborhood meetings be held at least 10 days prior to submitting an application to allow for additional time for the applicant and neighbors to discuss details about the proposal.
To ensure the City’s approach is consistent with the vision of the larger community, we’re continuing to solicit feedback about these items.
Please take time to review each of the three concepts and share any comments or concerns. All feedback will be considered as the City drafts the amendment. Additionally, the Planning Team is available to meet in person or over the phone at (208) 608-7083.
Online feedback for Hearing and Notification Procedures is now closed.
Published: March 04, 2019