Tuesday, October 26, 2021

City Updates Public Hearing Notification Process for Development Projects

The City of Southlake Planning and Development Services Department is introducing a new and improved process for notifying property owners about public hearings being conducted by the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission or Zoning Board of Adjustment related to planning development or zoning related cases.

Previous Process

Currently, prior to every City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting, the Planning and Development Services Department mails out public hearing notification letters via the US Post Office to property owners within a 200-foot boundary of a proposed development or zoning case. In 2020, City staff performed a process improvement exercise (lean six-sigma) regarding the notification process in an attempt to improve communication and provide more information in a more cost efficient manner to City residents and businesses on upcoming cases being considered by the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission or Zoning Board of Adjustment. As a result of the process improvement excercise, City staff found that it could provide a more cost effective and citizen-friendly process in creating and delivery public hearing notices to residents and business owners.

New Process

The new and improved process results in the staff mailing a pre-designed postcard to property owners that contains a QR code, case information and date for the upcoming public hearing meeting. Residents and business owners can scan the QR code which will direct them to a designated web page that contains additional information about the meeting agenda, project description, proposed development address, site plans and more. This web page, referred to as the Active Planning and Zoning Cases page, also allows property owners to geo-locate the proposed development on a map and to read more about the project. A support/opposition form is linked on the web page for residents and business owners to leave comments and feedback to inform the City if they are in favor of or oppose the proposed development.

The new public hearing notification process provides numerous benefits for both residents and the City, such as process automation, less paper utilized, and reduction in time and financial costs. Also the City will be increasing the notification area from the 200’ from the subject property to 300’.

 

How do I use the QR code on the public hearing postcard to navigate the website?

Upon receiving the postcard in the mail, property owners may scan the QR code on the front of the card with their mobile phone camera or other electronic device with a camera that will automatically open the Active Planning & Zoning Cases web page. How do I access public hearing notification information, such as development case descriptions, plans, maps, and exhibits?

 

 

The top portion of the Active Planning & Zoning Cases web page, www.CityofSouthlake.com/PlanningCases, displays a section titled ‘2021 Public Hearing Notices’ where users can click on the Planning and Zoning Commission link or the Zoning Board of Adjustment link to view the public hearing notification items for a development case, which include case descriptions, plans, exhibits and maps.

 How do I access meeting agendas and packet materials for specific public meetings?

The next section of the web page is titled ‘2021 Meeting Packets’ where users can click on one of four options (City Council, Planning & Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment or Development Review Committee) to open and view the meeting packet information. The link will take you to the City’s online agenda repository.

How do I access the property owner response form to submit support or opposition for a specific development case?

Near the bottom of the webpage, the final section titled ‘Planning and Zoning Case Input Form’ provides a link to the property response form for users to leave their feedback for the development case they received a public hearing notice for. To submit a response form, users will simply click either link to open and complete the Planning and Zoning Case Input Form. Once completed, the user will submit the form which will be sent to the Planning and Development Services Department to be placed in the development case folder and added to the meeting packet for P&Z or ZBA to review during their meeting. For formal protests of a development case, the user must include a signature with their completed form for submission.

How do I navigate the interactive planning cases map on the website?

The largest portion of the Active Planning and Zoning Cases web page is reserved for an interactive feature that allows users to geo-locate and find specific agenda items and other information for development cases they are interested in learning more about. To search for development cases, users can scroll down along the left-hand column until they find a specific case. To zoom in on the development case, users can click in the white boxes on the left-hand column to view the location of the case.

Do you have more questions or want to speak with a City staff member about the new process? Contact the Planning and Development Services Department at 817-748-8621 or visit us at Southlake Town Hall, Suite 310.