19. PUBLIC HEARINGS AND NOTIFICATION
19.1. Purpose: To provide for the efficient dissemination of public information regarding pending land use applications upon which a quasi-judicial or legislative decision will be rendered so as to enable participation in the public hearing process by interested parties and to establish the order of proceedings during public hearing pursuant to Idaho Code.
19.2. Public Notification: When so required by the provisions established herein, the following procedures will be followed to ensure the widest public notification of land use proposals and to allow for the receipt of public participation and comment. In the event any portion of the public notification process is subsequently found faulty, the hearing for which such notice was made will be opened and tabled to allow proper public notification.
19.2.1. Legal Publication: Upon receipt of a development permit application for a use requiring public hearing, the administrator will establish the date, time and location of the meeting during which the application will be considered, and cause to be published in the official newspaper of record a legal notice not less than fifteen (15) calendar days prior to the date the hearing is scheduled. Legal notice will contain, at minimum:
18.104.22.168. The name of the applicant.
22.214.171.124. The type use being proposed and a brief description of that use.
126.96.36.199. The parcel number upon which the use is proposed and a general description of the location.
188.8.131.52. The date, time and location of the public hearing.
184.108.40.206. The address to which written comment should be submitted and the deadline for receipt of written comment.
220.127.116.11. A telephone number for those seeking additional information.
18.104.22.168. The location where the full record may be reviewed.
19.2.2. County Department Review: Not less than fifteen days prior to the date of public hearing, the administrator will provide review copies of the application subject to public hearing to affected county departments for review and comment.
19.2.3. Mailed Notification: Pursuant to Idaho Code, the administrator will draft a “Notice of Public Hearing” containing at minimum the information contained in the legal notice, to be mailed by first-class post prior to publication of the legal notice to:
22.214.171.124. The applicant and any agent(s) engaged by the applicant as indicated in the application. In addition to notice, the applicant or designated agent will also be sent an invoice of mailing listing names and addresses of all entities and persons to whom notice was mailed, as well as the overall cost of mailing. No final permit will be issued until the mailing invoice is paid. It will be the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the mailing list is complete and to notify the administrator immediately of any additional agencies or individuals who should receive notice.
126.96.36.199. All affected governmental and quasi-governmental agencies.
188.8.131.52. All property owners within three hundred (300) feet of the lot or parcel upon which the use is proposed. Where the applicant owns additional properties adjoining that on which the use is proposed, the applicant’s entire holding will be considered a single parcel for the purpose of mailing.
19.2.4. Published Notice in Lieu of Mailing: Pursuant to Idaho Code, when an application is regional in scope and affects more than two hundred property owners, a display advertisement in the newspaper of record not less than four inches by two columns in size may be published at least once, beginning at least fifteen (15) calendar days prior to the date of hearing, in lieu of mailing notices.
19.2.5. Posting Property: At least seven calendar days prior to the date of hearing, the administrator will cause to be posted a legible sign in a visible location on the property on which the use is proposed, pursuant to Idaho Code. This sign will at minimum provide a brief overview of the application, the date, time and location of the hearing, and a method by which those interested may obtain additional information. At his discretion, the administrator may direct the applicant to post the property and provide photographic proof and date that the sign was posted.
19.2.6. Notifying Members: At least one week prior to the scheduled hearing and subsequent to the deadline established for receipt of written comment, the administrator will duplicate all application materials, written testimony and staff analysis so as to provide each member to sit in public hearing a complete copy of the application as available to the general public. Record of public notification may be omitted from member notice.
19.3. Public Hearings:
19.3.1. General: Public hearings are official proceedings governed by Idaho Code and the procedures established herein. During public hearing, all parties interested in the decision under consideration will be afforded the opportunity to be heard, though a time limit on testimony may be established at the outset at the discretion of the presiding chair.
19.3.2. Record to be Maintained: All public hearings will be recorded to provide a transcribable audio record, and such recordings will be maintained by the zoning administrator for a period of not less than six months from the date of the public hearing. Written minutes shall be maintained of all public meetings, to include public hearings, and maintained as a permanent record for a period of not less than twenty-five years. If the minutes are subsequently typed, the original notes from which the minutes were typed will be maintained as part of the hearing record.
19.3.3. Ex Parte Contact/Conflict of Interest: Public hearings will be conducted pursuant to the Idaho Open Meeting Law, and no member will seek or accept comment, testimony or information outside the established public hearing process; or sit on the panel when conflict of interest exists during any quasi-judicial public hearing. Should a member have concern regarding potential ex parte contact or conflict of interest, that member will disclose these concerns to the sitting chair prior to the hearing being opened to public testimony, and the chair will render a decision as to whether such concern constitutes ex parte contact or conflict of interest. When ex parte contact or conflict of interest is declared, the member may elect to absent themselves from the room during that hearing or sit in the gallery as a member of the public. A member so removed may give testimony as a member of the public, but cannot participate in the decision making process. Ex parte contact and conflict of interest do not apply in a legislative public hearing.
19.3.4. Lack of quorum or absence of staff: In the event of a lack or quorum or absence of staff, scheduled public hearings will be opened and tabled to a set date and time, with no additional public notice required.
19.4. Order of Proceedings:
19.4.1. The hearing chair will open the meeting and describe the public hearing procedure. When multiple public hearings are included on a single agenda, review of the procedure need only occur once at the beginning of the meeting.
19.4.2. Prior to accepting testimony during a quasi-judicial public hearing, the chair will call for conflicts of interest or ex parte contact among members specific to the proposal being heard.
19.4.3. The chair will open public hearing and briefly describe the application.
19.4.4. The applicant or designated representative may give an opening statement. Members may ask questions of the applicant. Absence of the applicant or representative at public hearing will not automatically result in postponement of the public hearing, but members may table the hearing should it be determined that the applicant’s presence is necessary so as to allow an informed decision. Likewise, if the applicant knows or finds that attendance at the meeting will not be possible, the applicant may notify the administrator prior to the hearing and request either that the hearing continue despite the absence or that the hearing be tabled to allow attendance. If the request is to hold the hearing despite the absence, such request will be provided the chair at public hearing in lieu of the applicant’s opening statement. If the request is to table the public hearing, a time and date certain for reconvening the hearing will be set and announced to all interested parties in attendance, and no additional public notification will be required. If no time and date certain is set, the public notification process set forth above at 21.2, above, will be repeated prior to reconvening the public hearing at the applicant’s expense.
19.4.5. The administrator or designee may give staff report. Members may ask questions of the administrator.
19.4.6. The hearing will be opened to public testimony, first from those in favor of the proposal, next from those uncommitted on the proposal and finally from those opposed to the proposal. Members may ask questions of each speaker.
19.4.7. The applicant will have the opportunity to provide a closing statement to clarify the application and rebut concerns. Members may ask questions of the applicant.
19.4.8. If, as a result of testimony received, a material change has been made to the application, the chair will declare the substantial change and reopen the hearing to public testimony specific to that change.
19.4.9. Upon conclusion of all testimony, the chair will close the hearing to public testimony and call for discussion and deliberation by members. No further questions will be asked of the applicant or members of the public, and no additional public comment will be accepted without reopening the hearing to public testimony. Discussion will be aimed toward establishing reasoned findings upon which to base a recommendation or decision.