Saturday, August 3, 2019

Noticing 101

The Provo City Council, Planning Commission, and other public bodies have to obey specific statutes about public meetings. That includes giving a certain amount of public notice so residents know about those meetings. 

Utah Code includes the statutes governing the notice requirements for public hearings, meetings, and other items relating to the business and proceedings of public bodies such as the Provo City Council. Public noticing is an important element in maintaining transparency and clarity in government operations and decision-making. This information is a summary of several more detailed requirements which are outlined in state statute and is not meant to supplant (replace) state code nor serve as an official legal position.
  •  Most items and public meetings
  •  Land use items (such as a zone change, ordinance amendments to Provo City Code Titles 14 or 15, etc.)
    •    10 days’ notice for the first hearing, generally in front of the Planning Commission (Utah Code 10-9a-205) (10-9a-2 gives generally more details about various required types of notices. Many of these occur through Community Development or Public Works)
    •    The Council hearing is noticed simultaneously with the Planning Commission notice (Council Handbook Section 2.b.ii(2))
  •  Annexation
    •    There are different noticing requirements for various stages of the process. These are outlined in more detail in Utah Code 10-2-415.
  •  General Plan Amendments
    •    10 days’ notice (Utah Code 10-9a-204) for both Planning Commission and Council hearings
    •    The Council hearing is noticed simultaneously with the Planning Commission notice (Council Handbook Section 2.b.ii(2))
  •   Appropriation
  •   Budget
Once an item has appeared on a Council agenda, the record of the open meeting creates continuity when items are continued to a future meeting. Under the direction of the Council and Provo City Legal Department, when publicizing details of Council meetings and hearings, Council staff try to strike a balance between transparency and practicality, all while complying with the legal statutes regulating public noticing.
That last paragraph is to tell you that once an item has been noticed for a meeting, if that item gets continued to another meeting, the minutes from that meeting would serve as the "notice" that it will be heard again later.  The Summary of Action published for each meeting can be helpful in knowing which items were voted on and which ones will be coming back to the Council.

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