Development Review Process Task Force Recommendations



Action Steps/Timeline/Staff Resources Required


2 Phase ZMA Process


2 phase ZMA process will avoid need for detailed submissions until “big picture” issues have been answered, reducing cost to applicants and reducing review times. 


Phase I – the first phase of the two step process will consist of recognition by the Planning Commission that the land use designations have been appropriately addressed and that the concepts related to relationship to adjoining property and impacts to the community are generally acceptable.  The project does not go to the Board at this stage, and the PC’s “recognition” does not insure the ultimate approval of the application but does indicate agreement on general principles.  This phase results in “findings” that the project is generally consistent or not consistent with intended land uses including density and a record of comments is available to the applicant.  A copy of the findings would be sent to the Board for their review and information.


Phase 2 – the second phase consists of a detailed review to meet all requirements and policies of the County


A related staff recommendation is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the 100-plus item list to see if some/all requirements should be included in an ordinance.



Ongoing refinements as needed

Improve ARB/PC/Board coordination, clarify role of ARB


Clarify the sequential review process to alleviate confusion for staff, applicants, planning commission and board of supervisors and clarify the extent of review from the PC and ARB expected by the Board, prior to BOS review.


  • Review current applicable ARB ordinances with the Board to clarify code guidance on the role of the ARB
  • Explain the current practice as to ARB involvement in Planning Commission processes
  • Determine whether the Board wants to amend the ordinance to reflect current practice or to use existing ordinance guidelines for ARB involvement – the committee recommends that the existing guidelines be used to refine the ARB role to its original purpose
  • Communicate guidance to the Planning Commission and ARB members regarding the BOS guidance, and provide training where necessary to clarify appropriate roles and functions
  • Prepare staff to assist ARB members to stay within the designated review and decision-making roles
  • Provide the following sequence in flow chart form as a guide for staff and applicant:

Comp Plan amendments review step 1- PC, Step 2 - BOS,

ZTAs - review step -1 PC, step 2 - BOS

ZMAs - Assuming 2 part zoning review (part 1 focused on land use, part 2 focused

on design elements) review part 1 - PC, review part 2 if in an entrance corridor- ARB, PC, BOS


  • Establish policy for extent of review - visibility and extent of information required for ARB review, extent of information required for PC and BOS review.
  • Establish staff led training sessions for ARB, PC and BOS to clarify legal roles and help to establish policy.



Ongoing refinements as requested by Board, PC, or ARB

Detailed process documentation focused on creating consistent review


Documentation on review process for ZMAs, SPs, SDPs, and SUBs will be used by staff for performing reviews and available to applicants to understand process.  Also, need to include the complete list of (104) issues considered with applications and the process for proffer review.   



  • Process flow diagrams and review process are in place for subdivisions (SUBs) and site plans (SDPs) .  These can be placed on the web as part of the one-stop web page update.
  • Process maps and documentation for ZMAs and SPs will be finalized after completion of the 2 phase process.  Anticipate 2nd half of 2007.
  • All process maps and other documentation will be reviewed on a regular basis and changed when processes are revised
  • This effort will result in standards, methods and checklists that will insure consistency in expectations on the part of applicants and staff.



SP and ZMA process complete, SDP and SUB process being edited

Expanded staff authority for waivers and modifications in the development areas




  • Adopt standards that allow staff to have clearly defined discretion and authority on the following items that would have a significant impact on streamlining the approval process:
  • Private roads
  • Critical slopes
  • Buffers



Now considering expansion of administrative waivers

Development of a Proffer Policy to include elements beyond a cash amount



  • Identify appropriate staff to develop the policy
  • Review successful proffer policy models from other jurisdictions
  • Determine proper process for adopting the policy if it is determined to be a Comprehensive Plan Amendment, move as quickly through that process as possible with support of the Planning Commission



One-stop webpage devoted to staying informed about county development


Creation of a new webpage on the county website that brings all     elements of the online county development information together in one place



  • Determine what elements are important to include on new webpage and develop prioritized content list – use task force survey results and input from CDD staff (staff identified electronic staff reports and electronic copies of plans and other project material as priorities)
  • Assess existing website content to determine what desired material already exists in some form or location
  • Assess CountyView as to its usefulness in serving desired functions
  • Identify gaps in material
  • Create links or new content to address gaps in highest priority areas of interest to citizens
  • Create an interactive page for neighborhood contact information including up-to-date email addresses to allow neighborhood representatives to post current information
  • Design one-stop webpage with input from citizens
  • Test new webpage with selected focus groups
  • Publicize availability of new page
  • Continue process with next level of priority areas


Due to evolving nature of internet technology, staff anticipates that this will be an ongoing task, but estimates that the first level of priority improvements could be made to the website within 6 months. This work will be incorporating into existing ongoing improvement efforts.



Implemented measures include the following:

o       CountyView Web

o       Applications with guidance

o       On-line PC staff reports

o       Expanded GIS-Web

Create a comprehensive guide to the development process for citizen use


“How to Understand and Get Involved with County Development Processes” 



  • Review task force survey results and determine priority items that should be included in a comprehensive guide
  • Review existing materials, printed and on the website, to see what the county already has developed regarding those items
  • Work concurrently with the website effort to coordinate preparation of any additional materials
  • Create printed and DVD versions of the guide that is appropriate for mass dissemination and that links up with the website
  • Get feedback on the material from citizens prior to releasing, and make any necessary improvements
  • Publicize availability of new materials


    • Guide to development with frequently asked questions now available on-line
    • Anticipate completion of DVD by May



Expand the contact area around projects to include more than adjoining owners, include more comprehensive info in the letter


Newly defined contact radius for notification letters and a more descriptive letter to be sent as the initial notification


  • Establish appropriate contact radius
  • Review existing contact letter
  • Determine appropriate new letter content including contact info and county resources –include citizen input
  • Revise letter, implement new contact radius
  • Solicit feedback from notified residents after certain time period to assess effectiveness



More detailed letters being sent, but no change to contacts     

Create easily accessible space at COB for project information


Public information/ visual displays on critical projects


  • Use terminal in new CDD lobby to share project info with the public
  • For those projects that have significant public interest, prepare visual display for citizens to view – determine what project info will be displayed
  • Identify best possible space for new display area
  • Publicize availability of new display area



Standardized proffer and code language for applicants/proffers on Web


Model Code of Development and Proffers available to applicants, which reduce the need for changes and resubmissions of documents.   Also, need to provide examples of good CDs and proffers and standard conditions used with certain SPs (e.g. Churches, Home Occupations)

  • Drafts of both documents have been prepared by staff and are being internally reviewed. 
  • After internal review, will circulate to interested parties. 
  • Anticipate documents could be finalized and put on web site by mid-2007.
  • Staff will review uses to establish conditions and eliminate special use permit categories where possible, i.e. mobile homes 



Standard proffers and codes of development drafted and shared with applicants, but not yet placed on-line

Approval letters explaining remaining process through occupancy


Approval letters will outline steps necessary before buildings can be occupied or uses are allowed.  

  • Staff has already started and can easily expand current letters to provide more detailed descriptions of remaining processes.
  • Will implement into process upon approval by Board. 



Approval letters now explain next step towards use   

Outlines of staff reports with outstanding issues (provide advance notice and interaction)


There should be no surprises for applicants in a staff report.  Any issue should have been raised in advance of the staff report, with the opportunity to resolve misunderstandings or mistakes.   

  • Staff is working on possible steps to address this issue and bring major areas of concern to the attention of the applicant in a timely way that allows them to be responded to, recognizing the obvious need to stop the interaction with the applicant at some point and prepare a final report
  • Staff reports are finalized and made available to the public and the applicant one week before the item is before the Planning Commission, so there should not be any complete surprises



For rezonings and special use permits, this has been incorporated into the 2-step ZMA process. For subdivisions and site plans, this has been incorporated into the review process.   Now expanding this to waiver requests 



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