CHAPTER 16: PUBLIC NOTIFICATION AND PUBLIC HEARINGS
(AS AMENDED DECEMBER, 2001)
Section 1: Public Notification: When so required by the provisions of this ordinance, the following procedures shall be followed to ensure the widest possible public notification of proposed actions and to allow for public comment on those proposals.
A. Upon receipt of an application requiring public notification, the zoning administrator shall establish the date, time and location of the public hearing during which the application will be considered, and will cause to be published in the official county newspaper of record, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the scheduled hearing, legal notice to include but not be limited to the following information:
1. The name of the applicant, the parcel number on which the action is proposed and a general description of the location.
2. A brief but clear description of the proposed action.
3. The date, time and location of the public hearing and any conditions, including submission deadlines and time limits on testimony, that will apply for that particular hearing.
4. An address to which written comments should be addressed and a deadline by which such comments should be sent.
5. A telephone number for those seeking further information on the proposal.
6. The location where the full public record can be reviewed.
B. The zoning administrator will prepare a press release on the application for general distribution to local media outlets.
C. The zoning administrator will compile a list, using the records of the assessor's office, of all property owners adjacent to or within three hundred (300) feet of the parcel on which the action is proposed and a list of all governmental or quasi-governmental agencies which would be affected by the application and cause a letter of public hearing to be sent to each by first-class mail at the expense of the applicant. The letter of public hearing shall contain all information provided in the legal notice, but may contain additional information. If the mailing list exceeds two hundred (200) property owners and agencies, a display advertisement of at least four (4) inches by two (2) columns shall be published in the county newspaper of record at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing in lieu of mailing notices.
D. At least seven (7) days prior to the public hearing, the zoning administrator shall post a sign at a publicly visible site on the parcel on which the activity is proposed providing a brief overview of the application and the date, time and location of the public hearing.
Section 2: Public Hearings:
A. Order of Proceedings:
1. The hearing chair shall announce that the public hearing is opened, define the hearing procedure and state the purpose of the public hearing. The chair shall call for conflict of interest, and members citing conflict of interest shall remove themselves from the panel. Removal for conflict of interest shall not preclude that member from making public comment, but the member shall not take part in the decision making process.
2. Presentation by the applicant or designated representative. Following this statement, the chair will entertain questions from the commission to the applicant.
3. Staff report. Following the staff report, the chair will entertain questions from the commission to the staff.
4. Statements from those members of the public speaking in favor of the application. Members of the commission may ask questions through the chair.
5. Statements from those uncommitted on the application. Members of the commission may ask questions through the chair.
6. Statements from those opposed to the application. Members of the commission may ask questions through the chair.
7. Rebuttal or clarification by the applicant. If any material changes are made to the application as a result of testimony received or if new information is entered into the record, steps four through seven shall be repeated. Members of the commission may ask questions through the chair.
8. Upon completion of all testimony, the chair shall close the public hearing and call for discussion among members. No further questions shall be asked of those who testified. The discussion shall be aimed toward developing a motion for a reasoned recommendation or decision. Such motions may include but are not limited to:
a. Recommendation, approval or denial. On a final decision, the motion may be provisional to allow the drafting and approval by final motion of the written decision.
b. To continue the public hearing to a future date certain.
c. To reopen the public testimony portion of the hearing.
d. To table the decision until a future date certain.
B. General Provisions
1. A deadline for the submission of written materials exceeding one (1) page in length may be imposed by publishing the deadline date in the legal notice and in letters of public hearing. All written materials received after this deadline shall not be considered unless read into the record during public hearing by the person making the submission.
2. A reasonable time limit may be imposed on public testimony provided such limits are established in the legal notice and letters of public hearing. Those providing verbal testimony shall state their name and address for the record and may be required to write their name and address on a register prior to testifying. At the discretion of the chair, this register may be used to call upon persons to testify.
3. Written materials submitted in support of an application or public testimony shall become the property of Boundary County and shall be maintained as part of the permanent hearing record.
4. All public hearings shall be recorded to provide a transcribable audio record, and such recordings shall be maintained by the zoning administrator for a period of at least six (6) months from the date of final decision. Written minutes shall be kept of all Planning and Zoning Commission meetings, and such minutes shall be maintained as a permanent record for a period of no less than twenty five (25) years. If the minutes are subsequently typed, the original notes from which the minutes were typed shall be maintained as part of the hearing record.