How to Prepare for the Planning Commission

So your project has finally reached the point of approval, now what? Here are a handful of tips for how to prepare for a Planning Commission hearing, to maximize the likelihood of approval.

1. Contact HCGA and to add your hearing date to our calendar.

2. Is there opposition? Yes or No.

a. If no, it is likely your project is on the “consent agenda” which means the Commissioners ask the attending public if there “is anyone present that wishes to speak against the project?” If no one speaks up, there is silence, then the project will be approved without discussion, unceremoniously and in an anti-climactic manner—phew, congratulations!

b. Sometimes, politics or strange things happen, and projects may be pulled by members of the public for no apparent reason. This means that the project will be discussed by the Commissioners and members of the public, which might result in additional conditions being applied to approval. Be prepared to speak on behalf of your project even if you are not expecting any known opposition.

3. If you have known opposition from your neighbors, have you spoken to them about the concerns they have?

a. Sit down, face-to-face with neighbors to talk about your project, talk about the mitigations, and ask for feedback, “what needs to be true about this project for you to be okay with it?” Odor mitigations, setbacks, traffic calming measures, etc.

4. If you have opposition from Department of Fish and Wildlife email, call or text Terra.

5. If there is opposition, then be prepared for the project to be discussed during the Planning Commission. The Planning Department staff person will go over the details of the project with the Commissioners, and then open public comment.

6. Have your advocate with you, consultant, attorney, or person who is most familiar with the details of the project, this maybe you.

7. Bring supporters who can speak to your character and are willing to address the Commissioners to talk about the benefits of project approval.

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