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    Zoning Procedure

Citizens who are faced with an unwanted rezoning near their homes need  to know the basic zoning process.  I have listed below a brief overview.

1.     The owner or developer presents an application for rezoning to the Planning and Zoning  Department of Cherokee County before the last day of the month.

2.     The following month a legal notice is placed in the newspaper to advertise the public hearing and 15 days before the hearing a sign is placed on the property with the date and time of the hearing.  The neighbors within 750 feet of the parcel receive notice by mail.  The applicant must hold a public information meeting for the community.

3.     The next month on the first Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. a public hearing is held by the Planning Commission at 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton, Georgia.

4.     The hearing starts with The Planning commission announcement.  The applicant (or more often his attorney) will speak for about 10 minutes in favor of the rezoning.

5.     Members of the community then have about 10 minutes for all their speakers to make the case against the rezoning. Individual speakers are limited to 3 minutes each.

6.     The applicant / lawyer is then given rebuttal time to respond to the citizens' presentation.

7.    The citizens are given no rebuttal time.

8.     Planning Commission members may ask questions, make suggestions, and will finally vote one of three ways.

 A.     The application can be refused and sent back to the applicant for further development and then resubmitted.

  B.     They can table the application until they have had a chance to review the material and arguments presented and it will be up again for a vote the next month but with no public input.

 C.     They can vote the application up or down with or without recommended changes.  Their recommendation will then go before the Board of Commissioners.

9.     The application will come before the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners at the next meeting two weeks later.  The Board of Commissioners can vote to deny, approve, or approve with conditions. They can also table the application pending additional information.

10.  After the zoning decision if the developer files a lawsuit the BOC can vote not to defend their decision and bring the matter back before the BOC for additional zoning.  The decision not to defend zoning decisions is usually taken in executive session.  The BOC can decide to defend the decision and the case proceeds through the courts.  In Georgia the courts give great weight to the decisions of the local government.

Anytime during this process you can contact the Planning Commission members or members of the Board of Commissioners, see contacts.