Board and Commission Member Standards

Member Standards

In addition to the outlined qualifications for all Board and Commission members as outlined by the City, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals members shall seek to achieve the following:

  • Understand the respective roles of the City Council, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, the Office of Planning, and City Attorney as they relate to 
  • Be able to challenge preconceptions, ask pertinent questions, understand the conditions of the area in question, consider all future and long-term implications of the requested decision, and review more than the “surface level” information provided by an applicant.
  • Apply basic planning and zoning procedures while evaluating an application: properly conducting a public hearing, making a motion that includes findings of fact, providing reasons based on ordinance standards, and creating or including appropriate conditions.
  • Zoning Board of Appeals members shall understand the differences between zoning appeals, variances, and ordinance interpretations.
  • Zoning Board of Appeals members shall distinguish between a use variance, nonconforming use, and ordinance interpretation and how each are to be addressed under the Zoning Ordinance.
  • Identify and describe common land use issues in our community, and zoning approaches to solve them.
  • Identify zoning enforcement responsibilities and challenges in our community.
  • Be observant of community conditions needing administrative attention, and communicate those concerns to the City Administration.
  • Identify people or resources to contact or consult if an answer is needed to more specific planning or zoning questions, or to ancillary concerns such as emergency responder access, code enforcement responsibilities, etc.
  • Determine when to request additional professional input from the City Attorney, City Planners, City Engineer, or others where appropriate.
  • Attend and actively participate in all activities of your board or commission, including regular and special meetings, study sessions, continuing education, and other training sessions.
  • Conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner at all times, and be able to recognize, analyze, and appropriately address potentially unethical or other possibly unlawful or compromising situations [such as conflicts of interest, incompatible offices, ex parte (unilateral) contact] and know what to do and whom to contact with questions or concerns.