Planning Commission Bylaws

TOWN OF ROCKVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION
By-laws

ARTICLE I – THE PLANNING COMMISSION

SECTION 1 – NAME

The official name of the Commission shall be the Rockville Planning Commission.


ARTICLE II – OFFICERS

SECTION 1 – ELECTIONS

            Annually, at the regularly scheduled February meeting, the Planning Commission shall elect a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson.

SECTION 2 – CHAIRPERSON

            The Chairperson shall preside at all Planning Commission meetings and public hearings and shall call meetings of the Planning Commission as required.

            The Chairperson shall transmit reports, plans, recommendations, relevant documents and business from the Planning Commission to the Town Council and other individuals and/or official bodies as appropriate.

            The Chairperson shall be the spokesperson for the Planning Commission and shall perform other duties and functions that may be required by the Planning Commission or the Town Council.

SECTION 3 – VICE-CHAIRPERSON

            The Vice-Chairperson shall perform duties and functions as required by the Chairperson, the Planning Commission or the Town Council and shall act as Chairperson for Planning Commission business in the absence of the Chairperson.

SECTION 4 - DUTIES OF THE CHAIRPERSON OR VICE-CHAIRPERSON

The duties of the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson are:  call the Commission to order on the day and hour scheduled and proceed with business before the Commission in the order in which it is to be acted upon; receive and submit all motions presented by members of the Commission; authenticate by signature all of the acts, findings and proceedings of the Commission; maintain order, move the agenda along, hold down redundancy and set guidelines for public input; review the meeting agenda with the Town Clerk before it is distributed to the Commission and, serve as a meeting facilitator.

SECTION 5 – REPLACING OFFICERS

            In the event of the resignation, removal or death of the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, the Planning Commission shall elect one of its members to complete the unexpired term.  

            A three-fifths majority of the total membership of the Planning Commission may, at any regular meeting, vote to remove the Chairperson from office. The Vice-Chair, if present, shall assume the role of Chair. If the Vice-Chair is not present, the remaining members shall elect a Chair pro-tem for the remainder of the meeting.   Should the Vice-Chair be removed when the Chair is not present, the remaining members shall elect a Vice-Chair pro-tem for the remainder of the meeting.

            A written report describing the removal of an officer and stating cause shall be submitted to the Mayor and Town Council as soon as possible following the removal. Should there be a vacancy on the Commission resulting from this action, the Mayor will be asked to proceed with the process to fill the vacancy as specified in Section 3.3 of the Code (when referenced, the term Code or Land Use Code is always understood to include all other relevant documents, Zoning Ordinances and Maps).

SECTION 6 – TERM OF OFFICE

            The Chairperson may not serve more than two consecutive one-year terms.

SECTION 7 – PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS - RIGHTS AND DUTIES

            The Planning Commission shall consist of five (5) members who are appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Town Council for a term of three years each.  Positions shall be staggered with two appointments expiring one year, two the next and one the third year.

            Planning Commission members shall serve without compensation.

            Every member shall attend all meetings of the Commission unless excused or unless unable to attend due to extenuating circumstances.  Any member needing to be excused shall notify the Town Clerk who will inform the Chair of the excused absence.
          
The Chair shall send a letter notifying the Town Council when any member, whether excused or not, fails to attend three consecutive regular meetings or any five (5) regular meetings within the calendar year.  A repeated failure to attend meetings shall be considered non-performance of duty and cause for removal.

            Commissioners shall perform work between meetings as needed, e.g., review prepared materials prior to meetings, participate in site visits and contribute in preparing other work required of the Commission.

            Members shall review all agenda items in an objective, fair and consistent manner and shall use the goals and objectives of the General Plan and requirements of the Land Use Code to guide their decisions on all applications.  Members shall refrain from expressing personal opinions regarding any application under review.

            Consistent failure to perform the above stated duties and responsibilities shall be considered non-performance of duty and cause for removal.
 
 
SECTION 8 – VACANCIES AND REMOVAL FOR CAUSE
 
            See Section 3.3 of the Land Use Code for the procedure relative to vacancies and removal for cause.
 

SECTION 9 – SPECIALIZED SUPPORT TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION

            The Planning Commission may appoint temporary staff as needed and hire consultants or experts as the budget allows. The Town Council determines the Planning Commission’s budget. Expenditures may not exceed the amount approved by the Town Council.


ARTICLE III – RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES

SECTION 1 – RESPONSIBILITIES

            The Planning Commission is responsible for the General Plan, the Land Use Code and for hearing and deciding any matters the Town Council designates.

            The Planning Commission recommends regulations or amendments to the Land Use Code to the Town Council.

            The Planning Commission shall administer the Land Use Code and enforce the provisions over which it has jurisdiction as specifically provided for in Section 1.20 of the Land Use Code.

            The Planning Commission is responsible for updating the General Plan, the Land Use Code and Maps and for receiving public comment on these matters.

            The Planning Commission is responsible for conducting public meetings, hearing requests for permits, licenses, zoning changes, etc., and for recommending approvals or denials of requests to the Town Council when required by Town Code and/or State law.  The Planning Commission shall deliberate and discuss all planning issues within the public forum.

SECTION 2 – DUTIES, ETHICS AND STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

            The primary duty of the Planning Commission is to help the landowner accomplish, in a manner consistent with the Town's General Plan and Land Use Code, what the landowner desires to do with his/her land. Planning Commissioners are advocates for the public interest.

             The Planning Commission’s role is to apply, in a professional, ethical, consistently fair and common sense manner, their knowledge of Town Codes and Ordinances to the planning and land use process.  The Commission can only serve this valuable function when it works within the constraints of the law and without regard to public prejudice or clamor. 

             The Planning Commission has very little discretion when acting as the Land Use Authority.  If an application complies with Town Code and Ordinances, the Commission must approve the application; if the application does not comply with Town Code and Ordinances, the Commission must deny the application.  The opinion of an individual Planning Commissioner on the merits of a proposed land use application is not relevant to the process.  An individual Commissioner’s opinion or any public comments or concerns about an application are relevant only to the extent that they speak to the issue of compliance with existing law.

             Planning Commissioners should make every effort to maintain a code of ethics in order to prevent a conflict of interest. They should refuse gifts and favors, maintain confidentiality of information concerning private affairs learned in the course of performing Planning Commission duties and not exercise the power of their position to create a particular advantage for any individual or group.

  

ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS

 

SECTION 1 – REGULAR MEETINGS

             Annually, in November, the Planning Commission shall determine their calendar for the upcoming year and provide that information to the Town Clerk for noticing per Utah Code 52-4-202.

             The Town Clerk will make public notification of all regular meetings no less than twenty-four (24) hours in advance of all meetings in accordance with State law.

 SECTION 2 – SPECIAL MEETINGS

             Special meetings of the Planning Commission may be called by: (a) action of the Commission at a regular meeting; (b) order of the Chairperson or

(c) written request of two or more members to the Chairperson.

             To the extent the situation permits, special meetings shall be scheduled to allow Planning Commissioners adequate time to review and study related materials.   At least two days in advance of a special meeting, the Town Clerk shall provide written notice to Commissioners of the date, time and place of the meeting. Such written notice is not required if the date, time and place of the special meeting has been scheduled at a regular meeting of the Planning Commission.

             The Town Clerk will make public notification of all special meetings no less than twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the meeting in accordance with State law.

 SECTION 3 – QUORUMS

             In order to conduct a Planning Commission meeting, a quorum of the appointed members must be present.  A majority of the members of the Planning Commission shall constitute a quorum.  No action of the Planning Commission shall be deemed official unless authorized by a majority of the members present at either a regular or special meeting.

 SECTION 4 – TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON

             Should a quorum exist in the absence of both the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, any member may call the meeting to order for the purpose of electing a temporary Chairperson in order to conduct the Commission’s scheduled business. 

 SECTION 5 – PROCEDURES FOR CONDUCTING MEETINGS

             Robert's Rules of Order, current edition, shall be the parliamentary authority for Planning Commission meetings.

                                                                                                                     

ARTICLE V– SEPARABILITY

 SECTION 1 – SEPARABILITY

             The invalidation of an article or a section of an article shall not invalidate any other portion of these Bylaws.

  

ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS

 SECTION 1 – AMENDMENTS

             These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting by a two-thirds vote of members provided that the amendments have been submitted in writing to the Town Clerk at the previous meeting.