Providing Testimony at a Public Hearing

There are several opportunities to get involved in the city’s planning process. Providing comment, either in writing or as public testimony at a hearing, is one of the best ways to share support or perceived challenges with a proposed project.

It is important to note that anyone who provides written or public testimony is considered a “Party of Record.” This qualifies them to appeal any decision or condition for a project to the next level of review.

PUBLIC HEARING PROCEDURES

  • The applicant has up to 30 minutes for their presentation. A designated neighborhood association has an equal amount of time as the applicant to testify, if requested.
  • The general public has 3 minutes, or approximately 500 written words, to testify.
  • The applicant is allowed up to 5 minutes for rebuttal following public testimony.
  • Written testimony:
    • May be accepted at the public hearing if it is a copy of the oral testimony.
    • All other written testimony and documents need to be submitted to the assigned city planner by 5 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the public hearing, in order to be included in the printed record presented to the review body.
  • There is a 10-day appeal period following the decision made at the public hearing. Anyone who spoke at the hearing or submitted testimony can appeal the decision. No new information can be submitted after an appeal is filed.

PROVIDING EFFECTIVE TESTIMONY

  • Provide comments that generally align with the approval criteria.
  • Focus comments on facts and specific project details.
  • If testifying as a neighborhood association, coordinate the presentation so that each person speaks to a specific section.
  • The planning team is always available to explain their analysis and answer questions in advance of the public hearing.
  • To provide written or electronic public comments, please contact the city planner assigned to the project.