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City staff cannot predict how the Planning and Zoning Commission will vote on a particular request. The Zoning Ordinance establishes specific standards for requests such as variations or special uses which the Planning and Zoning Commission uses to evaluate individual requests. The applicant should apply the relevant standards to their request and make a judgment whether or not they believe sufficient evidence can be provided to demonstrate compliance with each standard. The Planning and Zoning Commission will also consider staff’s recommendation and any testimony submitted at a public hearing. Staff’s recommendation will include an evaluation of any applicable standards and may include recommended conditions of approval to ensure that each standard is satisfied. However, staff’s recommendation is not a guarantee of the approval.
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The Planning and Zoning Commission is a new commission that has combined the roles of the Plan Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. It will serve as a recommending body regarding petitions for general amendments to the zoning ordinance, zoning map amendments, zoning text amendments, special use permits, planned unit developments, subdivisions, site plan review, and now variations as well. This new body will streamline the review process, making it easier for applicants.
The goal for the Planning Division is to completely process Planning and Zoning Commission applications in 8 to 12 weeks. A single review letter incorporating all of staff’s comments is forwarded to the applicant approximately 4 weeks after the original submittal. If revisions are requested, the applicant should respond to staff’s comments and submit revised plans within 10 days in order to remain within the 8 to 12 week time frame. If additional revisions are required, the applicant submittal and staff review process will continue until the documents are deemed sufficient for Planning and Zoning Commission consideration. Once the application documents are in order, the request is forwarded to the Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration.