Chapter 19.88
PUBLIC HEARINGS

Sections:

19.88.010    Purpose of chapter.

19.88.020    Notice of hearing.

19.88.050    Scheduling of hearing.

19.88.060    Hearing procedure.

19.88.070    Recommendation by commission.

19.88.080    Decision and notice.

19.88.090    Effective date of decision.

19.88.010 Purpose of chapter.

This chapter provides procedures for public hearings before the commission and council. When a public hearing is required by this development code, public notice shall be given and the hearing shall be conducted as provided by this chapter. (Ord. 2003-02 § 3, 2003).

19.88.020 Notice of hearing.

When a land use permit or other matter requires a public hearing, the public shall be provided notice of the hearing in compliance with state law (Government Code Section 65090 et seq.), and as required by this chapter.

A. Contents of Notice. Notice of a public hearing shall include:

1. Hearing Information. The date, time, and place of the hearing and the name of the hearing body; and the phone number and street address of the planning division, where an interested person could call or visit to obtain additional information;

2. Project Information. The name of the applicant; a general explanation of the matter to be considered; a general description, in text and/or by diagram, of the location of the property that is the subject of the hearing; and any proposed CEQA determination.

B. Minimum Method of Notice Distribution. Notice of a public hearing required by this chapter for a land use permit, amendment, or appeal shall be given as follows, as required by state law (Government Code Sections 65090 and 65091), by all of the following methods:

1. Publication. Notice published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the city at least 10 days before the hearing, with an additional publication thereafter.

2. Mailing. Notice mailed or delivered at least 10 days before the hearing to the following:

a. Owner(s) of Proposed Site. The owner(s) of the property being considered in the application, or the owner’s agent, and the applicant;

b. Local Agencies. Each local agency expected to provide schools, water, or other essential facilities or services to the project, whose ability to provide the facilities and services may be significantly affected;

c. Affected Owners. All owners of real property as shown on the latest Sonoma County equalized assessment roll, within a radius of 500 feet of the exterior boundaries of the parcel that is the subject of the hearing; and any other person whose property might, in the judgment of the city planner, be affected by the proposed project;

d. Persons Requesting Notice. Any person who has filed a written request for notice with the city planner and has paid the required fee for the notice.

3. Posting. Notice posted in at least three public places within the boundaries of the local agency, including one public place on the site (if applicable) directly affected by the proceeding and including the notice board at City Hall and Police Station/City Council Chambers.

a. Posted Notice. A poster or posters with minimum dimensions of 11 by 17 inches, including the content set forth in subsection (A) of this section, shall be placed by the project applicant at the subject property and for the entire duration of the notification period as set forth herein. One poster shall be required for each street frontage of the subject property. For example, two posters would be required for a comer lot.

C. Additional Notice to Tenants. As deemed necessary by the city planner.

D. Alternative to Mailing. If the number of property owners to whom notice would be mailed in compliance with subsection (B)(2) of this section is more than 1,000, the city planner may choose to provide the alternative notice allowed by state law (Government Code Section 65091(a)(3)).

E. Large Project Posting. In addition to the types of notice required above, posting shall be required for specified projects, as follows:

1. Applicable Projects. Provisions for a large project posting shall apply to the following types of projects:

a. Applications for residential development that would result in five or more new units or parcels;

b. Applications for commercial or mixed use development that would result in the creation of 2,500 square feet or more of new commercial building area.

2. Size and Placement. A large project posting shall consist of a minimum 24-inch by 36-inch sign board, securely mounted on posts with a minimum clearance of three feet, placed on the property that is the subject of the application. The posting shall be placed so that it is clearly visible and readable from a public right-of-way.

3. Content. Information provided on the posting shall include the following: the name of the applicant; a general description of the application; the property address; a telephone number for a project contact; and the phone number and street address of the planning division, where an interested person could call or visit to obtain additional information. In addition, the words “Proposed Development Project” shall appear at the top of the sign, with a minimum letter height of three inches.

4. Maintenance on Property. The placement of a large project posting consistent with the provisions of this section shall be considered an application submittal requirement. The posting shall occur upon submittal of an application for a planning or subdivision permit and the posting shall be maintained in good order until such time as the application has been decided.

5. Responsibility of Applicant. The fabrication, placement and maintenance of a large project posting shall be the sole responsibility of the project applicant.

F. Applications for Drive-Through Facilities. Whenever a hearing is held on a permit for a new drive-through facility or the modification of an existing drive-through facility, the city shall incorporate, where necessary, notice procedures for the blind, aged and disabled communities in order to facilitate their participation in any hearing on, or appeal of the denial of, the permit application.

G. Additional Notice. In addition to the types of notice required above, the city planner may provide any additional notice with content or using a distribution method as the city planner determines is necessary or desirable.

H. Resolution of Conflicting Requirements. In situations where noticing requirements established by the state or federal government require public notice in a manner that conflicts with the provisions of this section, the applicable state or federal requirements shall prevail. (Ord. 01-2021 § 1(5), 2021; Ord. 2003-02 § 3, 2003).

19.88.050 Scheduling of hearing.

After the completion of any environmental documents required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and a department staff report, the matter shall be scheduled for public hearing on the next available commission or council agenda (as applicable), but no sooner than 20 days after the posting of a proposed negative declaration. (Ord. 2003-02 § 3, 2003).

19.88.060 Hearing procedure.

Hearings shall be held at the date, time, and place described in the public notice required by this chapter. Any hearing may be continued from time to time; provided, that before the adjournment or recess of the hearing, a public announcement is made specifying the date, time, and place to which the hearing will be continued. (Ord. 2003-02 § 3, 2003).

19.88.070 Recommendation by commission.

At the conclusion of any public hearing on a proposed amendment to the General Plan, this development code, or the zoning map, the commission shall forward a recommendation, including all required findings, to the council for final action.

Following the hearing, a copy of the commission’s recommendation shall be mailed to the applicant at the address shown on the application. (Ord. 2003-02 § 3, 2003).

19.88.080 Decision and notice.

A. Decision. The hearing body (commission or council, as applicable) may announce and record their decision on the matter being considered at the conclusion of a scheduled hearing, or defer action and continue the matter to a later meeting agenda in compliance with SMC 19.88.060, Hearing procedure. The decision of the council on any matter is final.

B. Notice of Decision. The notice of decision shall contain applicable findings, any conditions of approval, and reporting/monitoring requirements deemed necessary to mitigate any impacts and protect the public convenience, health, interest, safety, or general welfare of the city. Following the hearing and decision, a notice of the decision and any conditions of approval shall be provided. (Ord. 2003-02 § 3, 2003).

19.88.090 Effective date of decision.

The decision of the city planner or commission is final and effective on the fifteenth day following the decision unless an appeal is filed in compliance with Chapter 19.84 SMC, Appeals. The decision of the city council is effective upon the adoption by the council of a resolution implementing its decision. (Ord. 2003-02 § 3, 2003).