The primary purpose and intent of a Planning Board public hearing is to gather information that will be used to make a decision on the matter before the Board. There are often multiple public hearings per meeting, so participants are asked to be prepared, brief, and non-repetitive.
The applicant or their designated attorney, engineer or architect will first present the project during which time the Planning Board may ask questions.
When asked, staff or other town officials present their perspective of the project and report on any departmental feedback not previously mentioned. The Planning Board will likely ask questions during this portion of the meeting. Staff may begin to compile a list of issues still left unresolved.
Abutters, member of the public, and other concerned citizens may then briefly state that their issue to put on the agenda for full discussion at a future meeting. This is not a discussion of each individual issue, but rather an opportunity to identify an unresolved issue that the board may assign a particular meeting date and time for full discussion. Members of the public are encouraged to submit concerns in writing prior to the assigned hearing date in order that the applicant, Board, and staff might be better informed.
Questions or comments are to be directed to the Board with the following requirements:
You may speak only when recognized by the chair
You must identify yourself with your name and address for the record
Your presentation should be brief and non repetitive. In the interest of time, please do not repeat the same information if others have made your point in a prior statement
The final step is to determine the unresolved issues and assign a particular date and time for each topic to be fully discussed at an upcoming meeting, or render a decision.