Monday, February 4, 2008

Process Problems

  1. The rules of the BOA and Hearing Examiner are inconsistent with the Zoning Regulations and the Howard County Code with respect to many procedural requirements.
  2. In order to file an appeal of an administrative decision, an appellant is required to make an appointment with DPZ staff to file the appeal. This requirement is not set forth in either the rules, the regulations or the Code, yet when an appellant appears at DPZ to file an appeal, they are given a hard time filing an appeal if they did not previously make an appointment.
  3. The procedures regarding presummission meetings are set forth in many different sections of the rules and regulations, and are inconsistent in many respects.
  4. People wishing to provide testimony at a public hearing should not be required to attend every hearing date. The rules should be revised to allow those members of the public to provide their testimony the first night they attend, if at all possible. Or, they should be able to "sign up" to testify by sending a letter in writing to the Hearing Authority, It is not fair to make the public participants come the first night to sign up and then keep coming back night after night until they are called.
  5. During comprehensive zoning, map amendment requests should be required to be posted and adjacent property owners should be separately notified of the request and of the hearing date for public testimony.
  6. Comprehensive zoning should be conducted more frequently and staggered by geopgaphic area.

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