What happens during the Community Council meeting?
Each council meeting typically includes one or more zoning applications. The lineup of each meeting can vary but deferred items are almost always heard first. Deferred applications are ones that have gone through the entire zoning process only to result in a full-cycle deferral, sending them back through the process again. You can find the current Rezone Agenda on the DeKalb Planning website.
Council & community members listen in at the the District 3 Community Council meeting in DeKalb County, GA.
To start the meeting, the applicant of each zoning item (usually a developer, investor or landowner) will make a 5 minute presentation. These presentations can vary from item to item depending on the purpose of the application. For instance, a developer building a large shopping center may display detailed drawings or renderings of their proposed site plan, and address other elements such as landscape, traffic, lighting and drainage issues. Alternately, a home owner opening a small daycare in their home may only present a basic property layout and address fencing or square footage concerns.
Once the applicant has completed their presentation, the Community Council with then take 10-15 minutes for members to ask the applicant questions about the site plan. Once the council is finished with their questions, the chairperson will open the floor to the community. This is the critical time for citizens of DeKalb County to stand in support for or in opposition to the application. The council usually allows a few minutes for each citizen to express their support or concerns. After the community has been given time to express their concerns, the applicant may get extra rebuttal time. This time is used to address any concerns or questions the community might have presented.
Finally, after hearing and considering both the applicant’s presentation and the community’s comments, the council will then deliberate and vote based on their findings. This vote is a non-binding recommendation to be considered by the Planning Commission and the County Board of Commissioners.