New state legislation on public participation spurs new ordinance

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 06:25 PM.

CRESTVIEW — New statewide "public participation in public meetings" laws require the city to revisit its own policies, if only to bring them into compliance with state regulations, city attorney Jerry Miller said.

Speaking at a Monday evening City Council workshop, Miller emphasized that Crestview, unlike some municipalities, already has a "very liberal" public participation policy.

"It would appear in some jurisdictions they were not very gracious with their time and listening to public comment," Miller said.

The new legislation is an opportunity for Crestview to refresh several of its own rules, Miller said. On his advice, the council repealed  policy 93-3, "Meeting General Rules of Order."

"I didn't find it a very useable document for most purposes," Miller said. "I found it way longer than it needs to be."

Under the legislation, the city should also revisit its rules for participation in quasi-judicial hearings, which, Miller said, by law should be limited to site-specific rezoning and project approvals.

The public can still attend quasi-judicial hearings, but only people "with standing," or involvement in the hearing, should be allowed to speak.

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