Typical Subdivision Hearing

All major subdivisions are presented to the Lake County Planning Board in an introductory informational meeting, prior to a public hearing, to acquaint the members with the generalities of the proposal and to allow the Board to air concerns or request clarification regarding specific items prior to the public hearing on the proposal.

The following section describes how public hearings will be conducted for the review of subdivision proposals. When required under the Montana Subdivision and Platting Act and/or the Lake County Subdivision Regulations, subdivision proposals shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in Lake County not less than 15 or more than 30 days prior to the date of the public hearing. Minutes shall be taken at all public hearings and made available to the public.

At the public hearing, the Chairman of the Planning Board shall introduce the proposal and ask for a staff report to be presented. A staff member shall review the proposal, evaluate it against state and local law and the public review criteria described above (when applicable), and make a recommendation to the Planning Board. Members of the Planning Board may then ask questions of staff.

The Chairman will then ask the developer or his/her designated agent(s) to respond to the staff presentation and to describe pertinent features of the proposal. The Board may ask questions of the developer at this time.

The Chairman will then ask for public comment on the proposal in a manner and of a duration to be determined by the Chairman and members of the Planning Board. All members of the public choosing to speak shall identify themselves prior to commenting on the proposal and shall direct comments to the Board and not members of the audience.

After public comment has been received, the Chairman may then close the floor to public comment. However, during the Board's deliberation, any Board member may ask further questions of the staff, developer and the public.

After deliberation, a member of the Board may then move to recommend approval, conditional approval, or denial of a proposal. The Board may also ask the developer for an extension of the preliminary review period if unanswered questions persist. After additional discussion, Board members shall vote on the motion.

Public comment that specifically addresses the review criteria mandated by state law, and/or the local zoning and subdivision regulations is most effective and useful in the planning review process.