I would like to know if other localities have a policy on public comments during zoning cases.  If so, what is the policy and do they have a time limit on how long a citizen can speak on a zoning case?

Thank you for your help.
Tanya Harding
Administrative Assistant/Deputy Clerk
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775
Phone (804) 501-4436 Fax (804)501-4162
E-mail:  har66@co.henrico.va.us
 


Comments

04/09/2014 10:54

The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors has a 5 minute time limit for public hearing comments on any topic.

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04/09/2014 10:57

Falls Church limits public speakers to 3 minutes on any issue. However, there are times when something is very controversial or emotional so the Mayor cuts the speakers a little slack on the time.

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04/09/2014 11:09

York County has a 3-minute time limit for speakers during public hearings. For Zoning and Planning issues, the applicant, or his designee, may speak for 10 minutes.

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Only for matters that go either before the Board of Zoning Appeals or rezonings in front of the Planning Commission.

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Fauquier County allows 10 minutes for the applicant to speak, and a has a 3 minute limit for citizens to during public hearings. Here is a summary of the protocols for BZA meetings:

PUBLIC HEARING PROTOCOL

• The purpose of a public hearing is for the Fauquier County Board of Zoning Appeals to listen carefully to the verbal expression of position and opinion from the citizens of Fauquier County.

• All public hearings are advertised weeks prior to the scheduled hearings and the notices indicate where citizens can obtain information pertinent to matters scheduled for public hearing.

• Public hearings are not question and answer sessions or debates and all statements should be addressed to the chair.

• Public hearings are intended to give citizens an opportunity to influence the public decision process based on prior research and discussions with appropriate public officials.

• Applicants, or representatives of the applicant, will be allowed ten (10) minutes to introduce information regarding the matter advertised for public hearing. All comments are to be pertinent to the issue being considered.

• Persons speaking at public hearings are respectfully requested to keep comments brief, not to exceed three (3) minutes, and to address only those issues pertinent to the matters advertised for public hearing.

• Written copies of statements made at public hearings are requested but not required.



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Tonya Lacey
04/09/2014 11:40

The City of Fredericksburg has a 5 minute time limit on all public hearings on any topic.

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04/09/2014 12:44

Tonya:

In Chesapeake, agents & applicants get 10 minutes to address Council on their application; citizen speakers have 5 minutes to comment. Additionally, all speakers have the choice of speaking at the start of the meeting before items are formally presented, or when the item comes up on the agenda. Hope this is helpful.

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Jonathan Craft
04/09/2014 15:25

Pursuant to Section 15.2-2204 (A - 2nd paragraph), of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, "The local planning commission shall not recommend nor the governing body adopt any plan, ordinance or amendment thereof until notice of intention to do so has been published once a week for two successive weeks in some newspaper published or having general circulation in the locality; however, the notice for both the local planning commission and the governing body may be published concurrently. The notice shall specify the time and place of hearing at which persons affected may appear and present their views, not less than five days nor more than 21 days after the second advertisement appears in such newspaper. The local planning commission and governing body may hold a joint public hearing after public notice as set forth hereinabove. If a joint hearing is held, then public notice as set forth above need be given only by the governing body. The term "two successive weeks" as used in this paragraph shall mean that such notice shall be published at least twice in such newspaper with not less than six days elapsing between the first and second publication. After enactment of any plan, ordinance or amendment, further publication thereof shall not be required."

I believe localities are required to allow citizens to present their views. The City of Roanoke requires speakers to register to speak. If there are four or less speakers registered, each speaker is given 5 minutes to speak. If there are more than four speakers registered, each speaker is given 3 minutes to speak.

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