What happens during the Planning Commission meeting?
First, the developer will present their plans
A typical Planning Commission meeting includes zoning applications from each of the 5 districts in DeKalb County. The applicant of each zoning item, usually a developer, investor or landowner, has 10 minutes to make a presentation supporting their application. These presentations are similar to the ones made during the Community Council meeting. Since the Planning Commission meeting is more formal than the previous Community Council meeting, the 10 minute time limit is very strict. The applicantRefers to a developer, investor or landowner who is seeking a change in zoning or land use to their property. must make their complete presentation within the 10 minute time allotment as no rebuttal time is given during this meeting.
Public comments are then heard by the Commission
Once the applicant has completed their presentation, the Planning Commission chairperson will open the floor to hear comments from the public. These are divided into two groups: (1) people who support the application and (2) people who oppose the application. Similar to the time given to the applicant, each side is given 10 minutes to express their support or opposition with the application. Again, the 10 minute time limit is strict and each side is expected to stay within the limit.
The Planning Commission depends on your input
Because of the time restrictions, it’s important that you use your time efficiently and effectively when you speak. Make sure your comments are clear and concise & try to get your point across as quickly as possible while staying on topic. It helps to have your comments written in advance so you can refer to them or read directly from them when you approach the podium. If you are part of a group such as your neighborhood, consider appointing a speaker to talk on behalf of the whole group. While your neighborhood representative is speaking, your entire group should stand to show support & solidarity. Having the fewest number of speakers representing the greatest number of people is always an effective approach.
Planning Staff and Community Council Recommendations
After the public input is heard, the DeKalb County Zoning Administrator will then present the Planning Staff Recommendation as well as the Community Council Recommendation for the agenda item. The Planning Commission will use these recommendations, along with the public input and the presentation of the developer, to make their recommendation to the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. The Planning Commission vote is non-binding and is only a recommendation to be considered by the Board of Commissioners.