Speaking Before the Board

Speaker Cards
All persons wishing to speak are urged to fill out speaker cards in advance of approaching the board members. Such cards will be provided next to the planning and zoning staff and at the speaker podium. In the interest of time and to affect the most meaningful effort, the board members encourage the use of a designated group representative when possible. Those attending are also asked to mute their cell phones during the meeting.

Letter Review
Petitioners and neighbors attending the meeting may review all letters that have been received pertaining to an appeal in room 116 prior to the public hearing or by visiting the Planning and Zoning Division Office the day of the meeting. The letters are made available to the public and petitioner to allow any rebuttal comments relative to information provided in the letters.

Order of Speakers
  • Petitioner (5 Minutes)
    The party requesting the variance, including the principal speaker and supporting consultants, is allowed this interval for an uninterrupted presentation of facts. The petitioner’s presentation may include visual aids as desired.
  • Letters are Read Into Record
  • Supporting Speakers (Other Than Petitioner)
    Person(s) designated as a group speaker - 5 minutes (represents more than 5 persons)
    A person speaking as an individual - 3 minutes
  • Opposition Speakers
    Person(s) designated as a group speaker - 5 minutes (represents more than 5 persons)
    A person speaking as an individual - 3 minutes
  • Board Members Questions
    The board members may question any speaker. Such questioning period by the board members will not be subtracted from the speaker’s allotted time. Public Hearing portion of meeting is closed by Chairman.

    After the Public Hearing is closed on an appeal, the Board of Zoning Adjustment will begin deliberation of the appeal and then vote on the appeal.

    In some instances the hearing on an application may be continued and/or the deliberation on a case delayed until the next regularly scheduled meeting by the majority vote of the board members.

    To obtain the most benefit from your presentation, the board members urge your consideration of the following:
    • Address the Board Members: Please face and direct all comments to the board members. Speak into the microphone. Turning around to respond to the audience serves no purpose, makes it difficult for the board embers to understand your statements and detracts from your speaking time.
    • Avoid Repetition: The board members do carefully consider and take notes on each presentation. Repetition by the initial speaker or following speakers, in support or opposition, usually serves only the purpose of prolonging the hearing and uses up allotted speaker time. Please remember, seconding speeches or comments do not further advise the board members of facts affecting the petition.
    • Avoid Overkill: Overkill or oversell is not helpful; the only usual result is taking of more time. Frequent situations of this type include excessive description of the surrounding properties and zoning far beyond what actually affects the site in question.
  • Summary Comments
    Please keep in mind that the board members are interested in full disclosure of information relative to each petition. The intent of the preceding advisory comments is to avoid unnecessary explanatory time or “sidetracking”.

    Should you have any particular questions on the details of a petition pending before the board members, please contact the Division of Planning and Zoning staff at 636-949-7335.