16.16.040 Procedure for commission approvals.
A. The following procedures apply to approvals by the commission including conditional uses, rezonings and variances:
1. Application. A completed application on a form supplied by the city and appropriate fee shall be submitted to the planner. If a site plan is required under WMC 16.08.015, a site plan conforming to the requirements of that section shall be submitted as part of the application. Within two days of receipt of the application, the planner shall determine if the application, including any required site plan, is complete and the submission requirements are met. If the requirements are not met, the planner shall return the application to the applicant for modification or correction. If the planner fails to act on the application within two days, the application shall be considered complete and accepted for review.
2. Public Notice. If the application is accepted, the planner shall:
a. Place the application on the agenda of the next available meeting of the commission;
b. Publish the agenda item in a newspaper of general circulation or place a public service announcement on radio or television. The published notice must set out the time, date and place of the hearing, the name of the applicant, the address or general location of the property and subject or nature of the action;
c. Within five days of acceptance, issue a public hearing notice;
d. Mail or electronically transfer a copy of the public hearing notice to the applicant, the commission members, the neighborhood association if the neighborhood has an approved neighborhood plan and to appropriate reviewing parties;
e. The public hearing notice shall be sent to the owners of property, as listed on the Matanuska-Susitna Borough property tax rolls, located within a minimum of 1,200 feet of the lot lines of the development. The public notice shall be posted in City Hall and on the site. Staff will allow a minimum of 10 days (14 calendar days) from the date of public notice mailing before scheduling a public hearing on the request before the planning commission;
f. The applicant will post the notice on the site at least 10 days prior to the hearing. The notice shall be posted so that it may be easily seen from the public right-of-way. The applicant is responsible for maintaining the notice.
3. Comment Period. Written comments on the proposal and public hearing notice must be received prior to the start of the public hearing. The commission may extend the written comment period to another date and time after completion of public testimony.
4. Public Hearing. The public hearing shall be held no later than two regular meetings of the commission after the acceptance of the application by the planner. The hearing date may be postponed to a later date only with agreement by the applicant.
5. Hearing Format. At the hearing before the commission, any interested person may present oral argument. Failure to observe the procedures in a hearing shall not affect the validity of the decision so long as the appellant has had a reasonable opportunity to be heard. Oral argument shall be subject to the following order and time limitations, unless the commission, for good cause shown, permits a change in the order or an enlargement of time:
a. City staff, five minutes each to present the city position and to set forth the evidence and reasons relied upon for the decision;
b. Applicant or representative, five minutes;
c. Private person supporting or opposing the proposal, five minutes each;
d. Applicant, for rebuttal, five minutes.
6. Decision. The commission shall decide to deny, approve or approve with conditions the proposal or appeal. The burden of proof shall be on the applicant. The commission’s decision may be made immediately following the public hearing portion of the commission meeting. The decision of the commission shall set forth the facts it finds relevant to its decision and the reasons for its decision, and notify interested persons, as defined in WMC 16.36.010, of the right to appeal under WMC 16.36.060. The effective date of the decision is the date the findings and the reasons are set out in writing and signed by the commission chairperson or the chairperson’s designee.
7. Super Majority. If written objections are timely received from more than 50 percent of the property owners of record notified in subsection (A)(2)(e) of this section or are presented in writing by the same by the close of the written testimony period, the commission may only act if four members of the commission vote in agreement. (IM 20-02; Ord. 09-57(AM) § 3, 2009; Ord. 07-58(AM) §§ 2, 3, 2007; Ord. 04-34 § 4, 2004; prior code § 16.43.506)