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Community involvement & notification

jhamby1987

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1
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0
Our town is wanting to better inform our citizens of planning projects. Do you have any ordinance or draft ordinance that helps increase this communication? It's been proposed requiring petitioners to notify neighbors to their developments but I want something more unique than this.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
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17,556
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55
Welcome to Cyburbia!

What kinds of planning projects of actions? What are the thresholds that trigger notification? In the US, most states require some kind of notification for actions that would require a public hearing -- rezoning, variances, non-administrative site plan and subdivision approvals, etc. Usually there's some combination of a legal notice, sign posting, and mail to property owners within a certain distance of the site.

If you're doing mail notices, make them plain English. I hate slogging through a page of legalese to find out someone two houses down is asking for a 2' interior side yard setback variance for a deck.

I have some language -- I'll post it later.
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,751
Points
39
Most of these regulations in Ohio are derived from the Ohio Revised Code, which lays out the timelines for notification. Some cases are based on distance (300 feet) and some are based on proximity (adjacent to parcels). Generally in terms of timing they are required to occur 10 days prior. Sometimes they are required to be put in a newspaper of general circulation.

We put everything we do on our website. We have a section for "Current Cases" and we put redacted versions of all applications and case materials. We put that link in our public notices. We push that on social media. Our goal is not to be sneaky about any case we have, we try to be as transparent as possible.

Where we have a limit is when people ask us to go beyond our limits. Like for an entire neighborhood to be mailed a notice anytime a certain case comes up. We will not do that. We cannot afford to send out hundreds of extra letters each time we have a case. We will not email you every time we have a case either. It is not our job to babysit cases for individuals. Our job is to make sure that if we have a case, everyone has all the information they could want, if they want it. Our job is to provide answers to any questions someone may have. Our meetings are on the same day every month and the agenda goes up on the same day every month. We are consistent and fair to anyone and everyone.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,654
Points
38
You have to set thresholds of some kind. If it's a small project like the setback variance two doors down then you don't need much notice. Just send some letters around. If it's the giant new factory that people love or hate then people care. The impact is greater than just the neighborhood around it and maybe those projects require some extra open house exhibits held by the developer. The hard part is finding the right triggers for just about any kind of project.
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
10,497
Points
33
Yeah, every state is different, However, states really do need to update their notification requirements. Print newspaper ads in the legal section are almost never read. Personally, we post signs in addition running the ads. The certified letters t the adjoining property owners have a mixed result at best.
 

WinningDayz

Member
Messages
21
Points
2
My city has an entire website with updates and opportunities to provide comments. They've also recently updated their notice postings and they're currently doing stakeholder engagement on how to notify more consistently. We also recently dropped the newspaper notifications for certain things.

Mail drops to adjacent neighbours is always a good idea, or better yet, putting something on their door handle. If your city has relationships with community groups, they can also help to discuss with residents.
 
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