The Planning Commission is made up of citizen volunteers who are appointed by the City Council. The Planning Commission provides recommendations to the City Council about a redevelopment proposal based on the Comprehensive Plan designation for the site, zoning regulations for the site, and requirements of the subdivision ordinance.
For example, when the Planning Commission reviews conditional use permits, the zoning code guides them to look at:
- Consistency with the city comprehensive plan;
- The geographical area involved;
- Whether such use will cause deterioration of the area in which it is proposed;
- The character of the surrounding area;
- The demonstrated need for such use;
- Whether the proposed use would cause odors, dust, flies, vermin, smoke, gas, noise or vibration, or would impose hazards to life or property in the neighborhood;
- Whether such use would inherently lead to or encourage disturbing influences in the neighborhood;
- Whether stored equipment or materials would be screened and whether there would be continuous operation within the visible range of surrounding residences.
When the planning commission looks at a preliminary plat, they are to consider the report and recommendation from staff and may ask for additional information from the applicant. Plat review by the planning commission is generally looking at how the plat dimensions line up with the zoning standards.
Written comments that come in to city hall the close of business on the day of the planning commission meeting will be distributed to the planning commission at the meeting or prior to the meeting to allow them time to read what has been submitted. Usually, an early step in the public hearing.
The planning commission will hear testimony from residents and business owners and ask questions of staff and the developer who will then provide answers. After the public hearing portion has been closed, the planning commissioners discuss the proposal and formulate a recommendation to send to Council. The recommendation will be in the form of a motion.