P&Z to penalize late zoning requests
Time is money, so while the Planning and Zoning commission can’t fine zoning applicants who submit late materials, a change in their bylaws would do pretty much the same thing.
A draft of an amendment to the commission’s rules would make it custom practice for the commission to table any zoning request for two meetings if the applicant submits any materials that changes the development request submitted before the deadline, a week prior to the meeting.
The concern arose after the Great Hangups rezoning request in January, when staff said the request handed out at the public hearing had substantial changes. Of course, that’s not the only time this has been a problem — commissioners and staff have alluded to a time when it was common practice for applicants to distribute requests at public hearings that were different from those reviewed by the commission.
And there was the Richland Road debacle in June, when Robert Hollis, attempting to address staff comments on his client’s request, handed the commissioners a slightly amended zoning request that, for lack of a better term, freaked many of them out.
Getting back to the bylaws change, it does not mean the applicant can’t send new materials or information to the commission after the deadline. If it’s a day before the meeting, city staff will still forward the information to P&Z, but the commission will likely table the request for two meetings, roughly a month.
Of course, that leads to the question of what constitutes a change in the zoning request, a question staff will likely have to assess at the meeting.
The same goes for public comments that encompass more than just a one-page letter. The amended bylaws would recommend that any public submissions of documents like professional reports or exhibits not submitted three days prior to the meeting would give the commission the leeway to decide to table the request.
Also clarified: public comments would have to be submitted to the applicant as well, who often first see such documents at the public hearing.
Final details are still being worked out, but the commission likely will vote on the new rules April 8.
Categories: Business, City Politics.