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Regulation 🙅‍♀️ Public hearing notice distance requirements, do you go beyond the minimum?

michaelskis

Cyburbian
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20,814
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57
In our state enabling legislation, it calls for abutting property owners to receive notice. This is includes those across the street. Our City regulations say to follow the state regulations. However, there is concern that abutting is not far enough. In our old zoning code it called for 150 feet, but the new regulations don't provide a number.

I know many of the neighboring communities go out further than just the abutting, but their distances are all over the map (as much as 500 feet). However, the land use attorneys in the area don't have consistent recommendations as some say that it is just a minimum and that we should go out furthers, while others say that going beyond is arbitrary and capricious as there isn't a definable distance that works in terms of the effect of land use. The local university that had staff that helped draft the new state enabling legislation indicated that as long as a municipality is consistent in its application of the mailing distance, that it is ok to go beyond.

What do you do?
 
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Maister

Chairman of the bored
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29,915
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73
Ours specifies 300'. The one place it gets nebulous is when dealing with a property at the border and those notification areas extend into a different municipality/governmental unit. Then the question is are we required to notify owners individually outside our jurisdiction, or is simply notifying the local government sufficient.
 

luckless pedestrian

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55
We specify 100' but my previous communities all used 300' - oddly I have a conditional use permit that says you have to look at the impact to the area within 500' of the project but we don't notify within 500' so yeah I want to change things up.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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Our code is to notify directly adjacent property owners and directly across the street.

I've worked in other munis where it was 250 feet to 300 feet (excluding intervening public ROW).

It's ok to decide to change the codified notice area requirement through the legislative process due to 'objectively' determined compelling government interest, but I would not stretch beyond the existing codified notice requirements on a case by case basis (whether for practical and/or political reasons) as it could/would easily be considered prejudicial and capricious by some involved party (most likely the applicant).

We also still notice in the 'newspaper of local circulation' to get the general public's attention.

When we're at the municipal boundary, we still notify applicable property owners outside our jurisdiction, because our notice requirements don't make such a distinction...and it's good to simply follow the letter of the code.
 
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SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
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1,621
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29
300' in the code I currently work with. Past city we had various dimensions and were told by management to go beyond if the item was controversial. Oblivious legal issues with that mindset.
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,562
Points
21
Ours range from abutting to up to 1,500 ft* depending on the type of application and size of the project site (very large scale projects hit the 1,500 foot requirement)

* There is state law that also says if you are noticing X number of people, you can do a newspaper notice instead.
 

arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,742
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35
Our is 300 feet for property owners and if in the coastal zone, include 100 feet for occupants. Our CA has stated, that don't arbitrarily include more based on who you think needs to be noticed, so we have stuck to the state min. We notice property owners in neighboring jurisdictions if it falls within that 300 feet boundary. For any zoning, comp plan changes, etc, we can take out a legal notice and call it a day.

My previous muni would throw properties in the noticing, and expand as necessary, clearly some legal issues there.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
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1,016
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23
500 feet here, and we've noticed larger radii (up to 1000ft) for especially controversial applications. But to Mendelman's point, maybe we shouldn't.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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But to Mendelman's point, maybe we shouldn't.
Thanks. I came to this professional conclusion once I became management and it can depend on the wording of the enabling legislation.

Our language is definitive and clear since it effectively says "xx is the notice requirement", so we don't go less or more. There is no "minimum" statement(s).

I think one could go broader on a case by case basis if the code explicitly said 'minimum distance', therefore permitting more if you wish.

If not, we certainly don't want to venture even close to a perception, let alone a reality, of being prejudicial and/or capricious.
 
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michaelskis

Cyburbian
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20,814
Points
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Thanks. I came to this professional conclusion once I became management and it can depend on the wording of the enabling legislation.

Our language is definitive and clear since it effectively says "xx is the notice requirement", so we don't go less or more. There is no "minimum" statement(s).

I think one could go broader on a case by case basis if the code explicitly said 'minimum distance', therefore permitting more if you wish.

If not, we certainly don't want to venture even close to a perception, let alone a reality, of being prejudicial and/or capricious.
Our state statute says that we shall notify abutting property owners.

Since this is an absolute and lacks language to imply flexibility, (ie, minimum, at least....) I think we will stick with the abutting property owners.
 

Clange000

Member
Messages
12
Points
1
We provide adjacent notice for the NOA but the NOPH requires at a minimum 400-ft. notice with the ability to expand to 800-ft based on the impact the project will have in the neighborhood. We typically we go to the 800-ft mark however, historically our PC and CC still think we don’t provide enough notice...
 
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