At its retreat on January 16, 2019, the City Commission directed staff to implement a process which would expand the number of people notified of actions taken by the Development Review Committee and the Board of Adjustment and Appeals.
The Development Review Committee deals with land use regulations and the Board of Adjustment and Appeals reviews zoning, building, and sign variance applications.
The City Commission also asked for revisions to fees, such that the any additional costs associated with changes will be passed on to applicants.
Currently, all applications that require a public hearing are charged a fixed fee of $475 to pay for the cost of providing public notices.
On Wednesday, the City Commission will vote on a proposal which will increase the mailing radius for public notices to 1,000 feet and, will to the greatest extent possible, include tenants. The proposal will also add a second newspaper advertisement and require that a sign summarizing the application be posted on the project site.
The proposal ensures that any additional costs, which are estimated to increase to approximately $704, will be passed on to applicants.
In addition, the staff will ask the city commission to consider new options to improve public outreach.
These options include:
- User friendly public notices — The existing public notices have very large blocks of text written in a formal, somewhat legal voice. The text tends to rely on long sentences. Staff has redesigned the notices so that they are written with a more active voice in a more user-friendly format. The updated notice will be finalized prior to the public hearing in April.
Webinar to Explain Development Process — An informed community that
better understands the development process is better equipped to engage
in that process. Neighbors cannot be involved in the process unless they
understand it. Staff reviewed the websites of several local
governments. A common theme at many local government websites is an
online, narrated webinar, targeted to both local citizens and
out-of-town developers, which seeks to explain the development process.
The webinar will be finalized prior to the public hearing in April.
- Presentations to Neighborhood Associations — The webinar discussed above could also be offered as an “in-person” presentation in which staff meets with neighborhood association members in the community who wish to better understand the process so that they can be more effectively involved.