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Public Hearings Resource Guide – part 5

5. Make Your Meeting Noticeable

Providing adequate notice of meetings at which a project will be reviewed is essential. Many planners and planning commissioners may view this as the kind of complaint that no amount of notice will ever totally eliminate. Nevertheless, it makes sense to review your public notice policies to see if you're consistently reaching those who might have a concern about a project.

Pueblo, Colorado, zoning notice sign
Zoning sign used in Pueblo, Colorado. Many communities have started to use bold, easy-to-notice signs.

Little things can also make a difference, such as making sure that permit application notices are designed to be highly visible.

Cable television has enabled many communities to broadcast public hearings. Some are even experimenting with allowing for public comment to be provided interactively. Cable can also allow for summaries of upcoming meeting agendas to be broadcast a few days in advance. In today's online age, there's also really no excuse for not posting information about upcoming hearings on your municipal web site and using other online tools.

Web sites and online social media can supplement posted and mailed public notices. For example, hundreds of cities are now using Facebook and Twitter to announce upcoming meetings -- and post links to agendas and meeting minutes.


Online Resources:

  • Lakeville, Minnesota, uses its web site to announce times at which meetings will be broadcast. Meetings can also be viewed online.

We welcome your comments and/or suggestions for additional resources we might list. Email them to us at: pcjoffice@gmail.com. Also, let us know us if any link is not working.