The following is a summary of some of the important guidelines for hearing procedures before the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission.
Open hearings | These hearings are open to the public and are for the purpose of considering various matters that the Commission may need to make a decision on. Hearings are on 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Presiding Officer | The presiding officer of the meeting will either be the chair of the Commission, the vice-chair or a designee of the chair.
Signing in | Persons wishing to address the chair should register with the Commission, which can be done either online on the Commission’s website (www.mbpz.org/sign-in) or at the hearing.
Spokesperson(s) | Large groups may be requested (but not required) to pick a spokesperson for the group in order to avoid duplication of testimony.
Oath | All persons who wish to testify before the Commission must take an oath to tell the truth before testifying.
Presentations | The applicant’s side will make its presentation, followed by opponents’ comments and then followed by a response to those comments from the applicant, time permitting. The Commission (and/or its staff or attorney) may ask questions of either side at any time, or the Commission may ask for report(s) from staff or its attorney. Either side, or the Commission itself, may call witnesses. Presentations shall be limited to 15 minutes per side unless that time is extended by the Commission. Each side shall receive equal time. A timer will change from a green light to yellow at one-minute remaining, then to red, when time is up.
Addressing the Commission | When testifying, come to the table, speak into the microphone and give your name and address.
Informality | These proceedings are meant to be informal and not a trial. Adherence to the formal legal rules of evidence is not required. However, the Commission may prohibit presentation of repetitive or irrelevant evidence and enforce proper decorum. The audience should remain quiet and respect the dignity and importance of these proceedings.
Commission deliberations and decision | After hearing from both sides, the Commission will deliberate and then make a decision, either to approve, disapprove, or some other decision, which may include either deferring the decision, or continuing the hearing, until a later date. Commission may approve some unopposed matters by ratification without a hearing.