If you and your group wish to comment on the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application, the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BOZA) public hearing is the most important place to make your case.
Notification of the BOZA public hearing is made in several ways:
- Hearing notices are sent to adjoining property owners 14 days prior to the public hearing
- Signs are posted on the property at least 3 days prior to the hearing
In addition, neighborhood groups that have registered with Planning and Design Services are notified 7 days prior to the public hearing. BOZA hearings are normally held on the first and third Monday of each month at the Old Jail Building, 514 W. Liberty Street, at 8:30 a.m.
There are no time limits for any speakers. You will want to publicize the date and time of the BOZA public hearing throughout your neighborhood so that all interested parties can attend.
It is often helpful to hold a meeting in the neighborhood prior to the hearing to decide who is going to be the spokesperson, what consultants will speak, what their order will be, what subjects must be covered, and to request that letters be sent to the Commission. If you have decided to hire a land-use attorney, he or she should attend this meeting.
Before the BOZA hearing, speakers can obtain a complete agenda for the day from the staff person. This will give you some idea of when your case may be called. Be sure to advise the BOZA staff in advance if you want to use VCR tapes or a Power Point projector for your presentation. The public hearing is a formal format, staff will present the proposal, the developer and/or attorney will present the reasons the CUP should be granted, and the public is given the opportunity to state agreement or disagreement, suggest alternatives and give reasons for their position. The developer is then allowed a rebuttal to your remarks.
It is critical that your comments be factual, well organized, and based on the Cornerstone 2020 Comprehensive Plan. You should have alternative suggestions in mind and be prepared to respond quickly to questions or suggestions from the Board. All information pertaining to this case that will be the basis for decision by the Board must come from the public hearing or be submitted prior to the public hearing, so be certain that all your points are submitted in writing at the hearing as they cannot be added later.
After all testimony is heard, the Board will go into business session and vote to approve or deny the proposal, continue the hearing to a later date, or defer action. When a hearing is continued to a later date, the Board will accept additional testimony. When action has been deferred, the case is placed on a subsequent docket under “business session” for deliberation, and no additional testimony is allowed.