Court Rejects Streamlined Public Notice for Zoning Ordinance Action
The court relied heavily on State Planning and Zoning Law policy favoring public participation in the planning process, with public hearings as a key element in that policy. The public’s opportunity to respond to the recommendation is thwarted if it does not receive adequate notice of the recommendation before legislative body consideration. In this case, at least 10-day notice of the Board of Supervisors hearing was provided; however, there was only one business day between the Planning Commission recommendation and the Board hearing.
Many cities and counties use a similar streamlined notice process in order to save on staff time and costs. Underlying the streamlined notice is the premise that the subject matter of the public hearing is the proposed ordinance and thus is the same for the planning commission and the legislative body. Not so said the Environmental Defense Project court, which held that the subject matter of the legislative body’s hearing is the planning commission recommendation, and as such, must be included in the legislative body notice.
Prepared by: Nancy ThoringtonShareThis