Metro’s law director Jon Cooper said this morning that Davidson County has no plans to shorten the amount of public notice it gives to citizens of public hearings on proposed zoning changes.
Metro’s own zoning regulations call for 21 days advance notice of zoning hearings, which Cooper says the city has been following for more than 20 years. These local regulations exceed the 15 days required by state law on all other counties in the state.
This week, a House committee voted to change a statute established years ago that carved Davidson County out from all other counties, requiring it to give a 30-day notice. The rest of the 94 counties in the state were allowed to give a 15-day notice. The change would bring Davidson County in line with the other counties, with a 15-day requirement.
Cooper said the 30-day requirement in the statute, which only applies to publication of a notice in a newspaper, was discovered last year during research on other issues. Because the city had been following its own zoning regulations that required 21-day advance notice, it sought to have the law changed to bring it line with other counties and its own practices. It plans to still follow a 21-day advance notice requirement.
He noted that in addition to publishing notice in the newspaper 21 days in advance, the city also mails notices to property owners within 300 or 600 feet of the proposed zoning change, depending on the type of change, and posts signs on the property. It also posts on its website the plans for zoning change as soon as they are filed, which is at least 28 days before a zoning hearing. Citizens can also sign up to have agendas of the planning commission automatically emailed to them.
See previous blog posts on this topic here: Shorter public notice of zoning hearings draws questions