COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Submittal Policy for Zoning Applications
Discussion of possible policy for submittal of plans and proffers prior to Board meetings
Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Graham
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
November 2, 2005
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
The Board requested staff to prepare a policy for its consideration for submission deadlines before public hearings for materials relating to zoning applications. While there have been discussions regarding appropriate submission deadlines, it does not appear the Board has an adopted policy for submission deadlines.
Several recent public hearings have occurred where plans and proffers were submitted shortly before the meeting. This has resulted in staff not having adequate time to review legally binding documents and the public not having the opportunity to review materials in advance of the public hearing. The resulting public hearings have seen a high level of confusion and frustration. Without adequate time from submission to public hearing, staff was unable to concisely report on the applications and the public may have been frustrated as they were not certain what was included in the considered plans and proffers.
Provide Effective and Efficient County services to the public in a courteous and equitable manner
In considering a possible policy, staff believes the Board should consider the following issues:
1. Opportunity for the public to review materials prior to the public hearing. Public hearings for rezonings and special use permits are required by law and must be advertised for a minimum of two weeks prior to the public hearing. While plans, codes of development, and proffers are available for public inspection during the advertisement period, it can be confusing and misleading to the public if the materials presented at the public hearing are not the same as those available for public review.
2. Opportunity for staff to review materials in advance of the public hearing. While changes may appear limited in scope, the complexity of plans, codes of development, and proffers requires a careful consideration. Without that review, there is an increased risk of unanticipated consequences in legally binding documents.
3. Opportunity to make reports available to the Board in advance of the meeting. When required materials for zoning applications are not timely received, staff cannot provide a comprehensive report for the Board that identifies and analyzes the key issues in advance of the meeting (i.e., approximately 21 days before the public hearing).
Staff believes these issues could be addressed if all the materials are submitted to the County at least two days prior to the deadline for placing an advertisement for a public hearing in the newspaper. Staff believes this is the shortest time interval that could allow the issues to be addressed.
No direct budget impact has been found. The recommended policy would provide some reduction in workload by reducing the need to shift priorities on short notice.
If the Board believes a policy is appropriate, staff recommends the Board consider the attached proposed policy.
A – Policy for Submission of Materials for Zoning Applications
Return to consent agenda
Return to regular agenda