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
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
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
6. The applicant / lawyer
is then given rebuttal time to respond to the citizens'
7. The citizens are given no
8. Planning Commission
members may ask questions, make suggestions,
and will finally vote one of three
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
C. They can vote
the application up or down with or without recommended changes.
Their recommendation will then go before the Board of
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.