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Monday, July 15, 2013

Rules of the Game: A Framework for Fair and Effective Zoning Hearings

Ancel Glink attorneys David Silverman and Dan Bolin co-authored an article published in the APA's The Commissioner (Spring 2013), a newsletter for plan commission members.  "In Rules of the Game: A Framework for Fair and Effective Zoning Public Hearings," David and Dan provide plan commissioners with a number of guidelines for developing rules for administering zoning hearings, including the following:
  • Develop a set of rules that apply generally to all zoning hearings, but build in flexibility for special circumstances that may require more (or less) formality.
  • Require prior registration for public comments, testimony, or cross-examination to assist in managing contested and complex public hearings.
  • Tailor cross-examination, if allowed, to assist the public body in making its decision and should be relevant to the factors required to support the requested relief.
  • Remind participants that rules of evidence and rules of civil procedure are just guidelines; zoning hearings are not court proceedings.
  • Consider using a hearing officer to assist in the administration of the public hearing.
The most important tip for plan commissions and other zoning hearing bodies is to develop a set of rules before you are faced with a complex zoning application and hearing.

You can access a copy of the article on Ancel Glink's website:  Fair and Effective Zoning Public Hearings


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