Accountability

Goal 1: Accountability

Every development application and change in zoning policy should incorporate the priorities of addressing the climate crisis and protecting the health, safety and general welfare of current and future residents. 

All District Supervisors should approach land use decisions from a county-wide perspective, rather than as a localized matter. Development proposals must include discussions regarding the impact on traffic, affordable housing and the environment beyond the magisterial boundaries of the project’s home district. The scope of impact studies, supervisor-appointed advisory panels and communications should be broadened accordingly.

Proffers must be publicized for public review and input throughout the application process

All correspondence, including justification letters, received from a land use applicant, and by any of the agencies reviewing the application, should be posted online and made available to the public within 48 hours of receipt by county staff.

Staff Reports should be posted online and made available to residents 30 days prior to any scheduled Public Hearing.

The submission date along with the acceptance date should be listed on the cover or first page of a staff report

A “Code of Ethics for Supervisors” should be adopted to ensure that Supervisors are acting in the best interest of their resident constituents

The decisions of the BOS, PC and BZA regarding development applications and changes in zoning policy must be consistent County-wide.  The basis of these decisions must be explained, so that residents have an understanding of the underlying principles involved.

The county must hire sufficient inspectors to guarantee that facts presented and agreed to in development applications and changes in zoning applications (e.g., proffers) are indeed factual and fully support the final decision of the BOS, PC and/or BZA for its full life.

Collaboration

 

Goal 2: Collaboration

A list of task forces and other advisory groups should be posted along with their mission, members and meeting dates. All meetings should be open to all.

The County will improve communications by broadening and proactively soliciting the input of residents and other stakeholders through a variety of media.

The County will respond to stakeholder inquiries in a way which facilitates communication to furnish complete information with all details and aspects of plans requested.

Supervisors, Planning Commissioners and County employees will work in tandem with the public to solve problems and concerns as early in the planning process as possible.

Virtual meetings will include ways for the public to communicate their concerns thoroughly (e.g. user friendly, clear audio, the use of visual exhibits such as Powerpoint). In case of inclement weather or technical problems resulting in persistent transmission or reception issues, the board will consider a vote delay.

Virtual meetings have severe limitations and we believe that in person Public Hearings should be resumed as soon as possible.  The opportunity of virtual hearings can remain for those who cannot attend in person, in order to engage as broad of a cross section of residents as possible.

 
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Goal 3:  Transparency

Changes made to the planning and zoning application process as a result of The Gartner Report must be subject to review and input by the public prior to any type of implementation.

The role of County staff must include accurately and thoroughly vetting claims made in land use applications and third party studies. 

Decisions made by BOS, PC and BZA must be in accordance with the County’s stated goals to address the climate crisis.  Environmental impact studies must be conducted early in the development application and change in zoning policy review process.

Speakers testifying at public hearings must disclose any conflicts of interest or relationship with development application and change in zoning policy applicants.  

In the absence of in-person public hearings, there must be “rules of the road” concerning how public hearings and meetings are moderated.  These rules apply to all virtual BoS, PC and BZA public hearings, plus Committee Meetings, Task Forces and Advisory