National City, Calif. - Pass the Redevelopment
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE CITY COUNCIL’S PUBLIC HEARING ON JANUARY 24, 2012
Your primary goal at the City Council’s January 24, 2012 public hearing is to help the members of the City Council understand how its plans affect YOU. It is very important that you understand the changes to the city’s planning, zoning, and land use documents and how those changes affect you before you attend the hearing. If you need help understanding the changes, contact National City’s planning staff at (619) 336-4310 and ask for help. If after reviewing the different documents you think that the city’s proposals negatively affect your property, follow this simple guide to prepare for the City Council hearing on January 24, 2012.
PREPARE TO TESTIFY:
- Review the relevant planning, zoning, and land use documents—this includes the proposed General Plan, proposed Land Use Code, and possibly an area specific plan depending on where you are located in National City. You may also wish to review the Environmental Impact Report and the five development proposals. It is very important that you understand how these changes will affect you personally before you show up at the City Council hearing. The hearing is not an opportunity to ask the City Council questions—instead, this is an opportunity for you to explain how the changes affect you.
- Prepare written comments on how the City’s plans affect YOU personally. Be as specific as possible.
- You will be allowed to speak for three minutes at most, but your written comments can be as long as you want.
- Here is a basic outline for what your testimony should include:
- State your full name, and the location of your property.
- Thank the council members for the opportunity to speak about the city’s plans.
- List the reasons why you oppose the city’s plans. Be specific—explain to the council members how you personally will be affected.
- The City Council does not have the power to make any changes to the documents it is voting on—it can only approve or reject them. Tell the council members what you want them to do.
- If possible, coordinate with other property owners to avoid repetitive testimony. All testimony should have a consistent message: These proposals are bad for your properties, and bad for National City. If there are things the city can do in its proposals that would help your property and the city, make sure you bring those things to the city’s attention.
- Bring at least 10 copies of your written comments to the hearing to distribute to City Council members.
- You should try to meet with the city’s planning department staff before the hearing to tell them about how their proposal will affect you, your property, and your neighborhood. Meeting with planning staff in advance will also give you an opportunity to ask any specific questions you might have about how the city’s plans affect you because the hearing will be structured around the proposals and will not address peoples’ questions.
If you own a business, these are the things you should think about and include in your testimony, if applicable:
- Do you own a business? What kind of business is it?
- How long have you been in business? How long have you been at your current location?
- Do you employ people? How many?
- Do the proposed plans change the zoning of your property? If so, how? Be sure to look at the proposed General Plan, the proposed Land Use Code, and the proposed Downtown Specific Plan amendment if you are in that area.
- Are there things you currently do on your property that you will no longer be able to do if the plans are re-adopted? If so, what are they? How will this harm your business?
- Will you need a permit to do something that did not previously require a permit? Do you anticipate it being difficult to acquire the necessary permit(s)? Will this damage your business in any way?
- Are there new structural requirements your building will no longer be able to meet (will your building be too short, will you not have enough street frontage, etc.)? If so, what are these new requirements that impact your building? How expensive would it be for you to make your building compliant with the new requirements? If you do not know exactly, you can estimate. Be sure to include the cost of labor, materials, lost business, etc.
- Is there some proposed change that will actually help you? What is it? How will it help you?
AT THE HEARING:
- Arrive early so that you can indicate you want to testify.
- Distribute your written testimony to members of the City Council before the hearing starts.
- The hearing will most likely last about 1 to 2 hours, but be prepared for it to last all night.
- You will be allowed to speak for three minutes at most. The council members may interrupt your testimony to ask questions. After you have finished answering a question, return to your prepared comments.
- Speak slowly and clearly so everyone can understand you.
- Do not express disdain or disrespect towards the opposition. Project sincerity and good will. Be respectful to everyone.
|.||LEGAL DISCLAIMER – The Institute for Justice currently represents the Community Youth Athletic Center in a challenge to National City’s 2007 redevelopment plan amendment. It does not represent anyone else in National City. This website is NOT offering legal advice or legal services. This website is designed only as a resource to provide general information to the public. It does not and cannot provide a recommendation of how these proposed new laws will specifically affect any particular person or what your legal options are. After reading the information on this website, you may want to hire your own lawyer. However, the information on this website should NOT be read as an offer of legal advice or legal services or as a guarantee or prediction about the outcome of any particular legal matter.||.|