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Rules of Public Participation

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During City Planning Commission meetings, the following procedures are in effect for all agenda items:

  1. The Chair will open the meeting by summarizing its purpose and describing the rules and procedures for participation.

  2. For each item of business, the Chair will recognize the Department of Planning and ask for a staff representative to present its report to the Planning Commission.

  3. The Chair will allow questions from the Commission to be directed to Planning staff for the clarification of issues related to the case.

  4. Members of the Commission will not direct questions to each other or to the Chair during public participation except as to the conduct of the hearing.

  5. All speakers and members of the Commission will be recognized by the Chair.

  6. The Chair will permit an applicant and/or their representative to present their proposal. Other speakers will then be invited to speak. Each person is required to approach the podium and use the microphone so they may be heard clearly. Remarks made other than in this format will not become part of the public record.

  7. One speaker from Neighborhood Planning Councils, civic associations and community groups will be encouraged to present the position of the group. However, this will not prevent other group members from addressing the Commission.

  8. All persons having an interest in being heard upon any matter which is the subject of a specific agenda item shall be given the opportunity to be heard. However, the Chair reserves the right to end the public comment portion of the agenda item after determining from the audience that there are no new or relevant comments.

  9. Speakers shall take care not reiterate the same information that has already been presented. Once an issue has been raised by any speaker, it should not be repeated by other speakers except to briefly agree or disagree.

  10. The Chair may set a time limit for individual public testimony if it appears necessary to gain maximum participation and conserve time. The time limit may be extended by a majority of the Commission. The time limit for individual speakers shall be uniform for all speakers, and shall be strictly enforced. Speakers shall not have the right to transfer their unused time to other speakers, but the chair may grant additional time to a person speaking on behalf of a group present in the chamber.

  11. Members of the public will precede their remarks by stating their names, their place of residence, and their association with the project at the beginning of their remarks. Members of the Commission may direct questions to members of the public only to obtain clarification of material presented. The questions shall not be argumentative, nor shall they have the purpose or effect of unreasonably extending any time limit applicable to public speakers.

  12. The public may direct questions relative to the case to the Commission Chair. The questions shall be pertaining to factual issues relative to the agenda item and may not be argumentative.

  13. Once the public comment period has been closed by the Chair, the Commission will not entertain any further comments from the public.

  14. Written testimony, with the exception of e-mail transmissions, must be signed. Email transmissions must show the author’s name and address.

  15. Citizens will be encouraged to submit written presentations and exhibits. Material submitted to the Planning Director’s office more than five business days before a meeting will be eligible for distribution in Commission notebooks. Material submitted less than three days before a meeting will be distributed by the Department at the meeting provided ten copies are provided to the Planning Department.

Resolution 31-07, Approved on October 16, 2007, by the City Planning Commission. Approved on December 18, by the City of Wilmington’s Administrative Board.