Procedures & Regulations
Last Updated: 02/10/2023

What applicants should know about the Public Hearing process and community outreach

A.    The Planning Commission encourages applicants to meet with all community groups and parties interested in their application early in the entitlement process.  Department staff is available to assist in determining how to contact interested groups.  Notice of the hearing will be to adjacent neighbors, the Project Sponsor, and applicable neighborhood organizations.  The applicant may be contacted by the Planning Department staff with requests for additional information or clarification.  An applicant’s cooperation will facilitate the timely review of the application.
B.    The Commission requests that applicants familiarize themselves with the procedure for public hearings, which are excerpted from the Planning Commission’s Rules and Regulations below.
Hearings. A public hearing may be held on any matter before the Commission at either a Regular or a Special Meeting. The procedure for such public hearings shall be as follows:

  1. A brief description of the project issues and concerns by the Planning Department staff. The DR Coordinator will gather comments and concerns from the neighborhood during the DR hearing’s notification period. Neighborhood support or opposition will be reflected in a staff report presented at the Planning Commission hearing complete with the Planning Department recommendation to the Planning Commission to either take Discretionary Review or not take Discretionary Review.
  2. A presentation of the proposal by the DR requestor – not to exceed five (5) minutes. During the presentation, DR applicants should briefly describe their concerns about the proposed construction, how it affects their property or the neighborhood, and acceptable alternatives. Additional materials pertinent to the case may also be presented to the Commission at this time.
  3. Presentation(s) supporting the DR request by other individuals or by a member of a neighborhood group or organization – each speaker not to exceed three (3) minutes. Testimony should be kept brief and not duplicate the testimony or previous speakers. If possible, one person should be selected as the representative to make a presentation to the Commission. The Commission urges all parties supporting the DR request to limit the total length of their presentations to 15 minutes.
  4. Presentation by the project sponsor (building permit applicant) – not to exceed five (5) minutes. Project sponsor should address concerns of the DR requester and other individuals, including concerns articulated at the hearing, and demonstrate to the Commission why the project should be approved.
  5. Presentation by persons or organizations supporting the project sponsor – not to exceed three (3) minutes. The Commission urges all parties supporting the Project Sponsor to limit the total length of their presentations to 15 minutes.
  6. The Commission may allow the DR requester a rebuttal not to exceed two minutes.
  7. The Commission may allow the project sponsor a rebuttal not to exceed two minutes.
  8. Public testimony is closed. The Commissioners may ask questions of various persons during their discussion and consideration of the project. 
  9. Deliberation and action by the Commission on the matter before it. The Commission can vote to either approve the project, approve it subject to certain modifications, disapprove it, or continue the case to a future date.

The Planning Commission action of the building permit can be appealed to the Board of Appeals within fifteen (15) days of the issuance or denial of the building permit application by the Department of Building Inspection’s Central Permit Bureau.

C.    Private Transcription. The Commission President may authorize any person to transcribe the proceedings of a Regular, Special or Committee Meeting provided that the President may require that a copy of such transcript be provided for the Commission’s permanent records.

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