Planning & Zoning Hearing Procedures
- Call to order by Chairman at appointed time
- Introduction of hearing officer:
- Call for signing of name and address
- Explanation of hearing procedure and rules
- Call for conflict of interest declaration or potential conflict of interest
- Call for ex-parte communication declaration and type (in person, phone, written) submit into written communication into record
- Reading of Legal Notice by Administrator
- Introduction of applicant or representative of applicant to explain the need for action/proposal
- Call for testimony from audience, (those in support of the application, those in opposition to the application, rebuttal by the applicant) or, in the order determined by the chair.
- Call for letters.
- Call for questions from the Commission
- Call for further testimony or questions
- Adjourn hearing when all testimony has been heard.
Planning & Zoning Hearing Rules
The Washington County Planning and Zoning Commission is required by state law to hold hearings on a variety of land use and zoning matters. In order to fulfill their legal requirement of making recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners, the Planning and Zoning Commission will use the following set of rules to that it may gather facts and hear the opinions of the citizens attending the public hearing.
- Each person who attends must sign his / her name and address on the sheet provided.
- In cases involving zone changes, variances, etc. the applicant or a representative will be first to explain why action is needed. It is suggested that the applicant speak to the audience from the front of the hearing room. The applicant will be prepared with maps, photos and other visual aids to facilitate the discussion of the proposed action.
- Following the applicant, the public will have an opportunity to speak, after being recognized by the chair. Testimony will be limited to the subject matter advertised in the public notice. Other matters may be ruled out of order by the chair.
- A time limit of 5 minutes for each speaker will be in effect with the exception of the applicant and a spokesman for the opposition, if there is a consensus among those opposing the proposal. It is required that all who testify state their name and address.
- The hearing will not close until all who have signed the sheet have had a chance to testify. No one may testify the second time until all in attendance have had a chance to testify once. The hearing will close when all have had a chance to speak.
- The chair will be in control of the meeting and has the responsibility to maintain order and civility. Persons who are disrupting the meeting will be asked to leave and, in the event their testimony has not been heard completely, will have an opportunity to submit written comments.
- The Washington County Prosecuting Attorney will act as legal counsel to the Washington County Planning and Zoning Commission.
Planning & Zoning Application Process
To bring a zoning issue before the Planning and Zoning Commission, whether a Rezone, Variance, Special Use, Development Agreement, Ordinance Change, or Subdivision, you must contact the Planning and Zoning Office. The regular monthly meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month. To be on the agenda for this meeting you must have your application completed, accepted by the Administrator, and fees paid in time to be placed on the agenda, which is mailed one week before the meeting. To assure meeting the deadline it is a good idea to start the process at least two weeks before the meeting. A schedule of fees can be obtained from the Planning and Zoning Office.