LELAND — In a move that would increase transparency, Leland Planning Board is considering advertising certain items ahead of reviewing them.
On Tuesday, Leland’s Planning Board will consider advertising all rezonings and text amendments that appear on its agenda. Ben Andrea, Leland’s planning and inspections director, prepared the item to consider advertising rezonings and text amendments. State statutes do not require public advertisements for rezonings or text amendment changes for a local government’s planning board, so the move is strictly voluntary.
“Historically, the Town has not advertised for rezonings or text amendments on the agenda for Planning Board meetings,” Andrea wrote in the proposal.
Signs, public notices
The Planning Board will review advertising these changes in two ways: one, through running an advertisement in the local paper, and two, by placing signs outside properties with rezoning requests.
For public hearings at Council meetings, Leland typically runs public notices in The StarNews. Staff-initiated rezonings or text amendments could run at $100 per case, Andrea’s item states. Leland’s staff is recommending the town run notices on the Saturday 10 days prior to planning board meetings.
The advertising cost for externally-initiated rezonings or text amendments would be covered through the application fee, according to the item. It’s not clear how much posting signage would cost the town.
Though the town is not required by statute to do so, it publishes agendas for its various boards and council meetings ahead of the scheduled meeting date. Agendas are available on the town’s website.
“Staff recognizes the value of public engagement at the Planning Board meetings during discussion of rezonings and text amendments,” the item states. “The Planning Board meeting provides an opportunity for the Planning Board, Staff, and the public to work through issues prior to the item moving forward to the Town Council for their consideration.”
Leland’s Planning Board will meet Tuesday, Jan. 26 at Town Hall at 6 p.m.
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