Public Hearing Process

City Council, Planning Commission, and the Board of Adjustment can make decisions about a planning or development project at a public hearing.  The steps listed below describe what to expect during a public hearing for an individual project.

  1. Title of the Project. For each development project, the chair of the meeting will read the title of the project into the record. This is what starts the public hearing on a particular project. 
  2. Applicant Presentation. The applicant, developer, or owner of the project  will give a brief presentation about the project, typically about 15 minutes. 
  3. Staff Presentation. The staff planner for the project will then give a brief presentation about the project and provide analysis based on the standards and regulations in the Community Development Code. 
  4. Decision Maker Questions. City Council, Planning Commission, or Board of Adjustment members can ask questions of the applicant and the staff planner. 
  5. Public Comment. After questions have been answered, the chair of the meeting will ask for public comment. Time for public comment, or a public comment period, will be provided for every project. A member of the public can make comments or ask questions of the applicant, staff, or decision makers. Public comment is typically about 3 minutes per individual. City Council, Planning Commission, or the Board of Adjustment will usually ask those providing comments to present information that has not already been provided. 
  6. Close Public Comment. When all members of the public have been able to comment, the chair of the meeting will close public comment. There will be no additional opportunity to provide comment on a particular project after the public comment period is closed. 
  7. Response to Comments. The applicant, decision makers, or staff will provide a response to questions or comments that were presented during the public comment period. 
  8. Decision process. After all questions are answered, the chair of the meeting will ask for a council person, commissioner, or board member to "make a motion". The motion will suggest approval or denial of the project. Typically a decision maker will address the criteria and indicate "findings" to support their decision. The motion will receive a "second" from another member. After there has been a second, the decision makers can discuss the motion and agree or disagree with it. After discussion, there will be a verbal vote, the decision will be made on the project, and the hearing for a particular project will be complete. 

There may be more than one public hearing or more than one project heard by City Council, Planning Commission, or the Board of Adjustment during one meeting. Check with your project planner to see where your project falls on a meeting agenda.