What kind of development needs a public hearing?
In Union County, 3 general categories of development proposals require a public hearing, including:
• Rezonings (i.e., Planned Developments & Text or Master Plan revisions to existing Planned Developments) - these are posted with large (24” by 36”) white signs
• Conditional Use Permits
• Dimensional Variances
Depending on the proposal, a project may have to go through a public hearing and a city council meeting before construction can begin. Please note that we are only referring to private sector development proposals. Projects undertaken by the County, State, or Federal Government, such as roads, may be subject to a different process. Also, other agencies, such as the Department of Natural Resources, may conduct reviews of developments and may post signs.
A Rezoning is necessary when a person, partnership, or private company ("the applicant") wants to change the zoning of a particular piece of land. The applicant must either own the land or be specifically authorized by the owner to request the change in zoning. A Rezoning requires a public hearing by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission staff makes a recommendation to the Planning Commission, which in turn makes a recommendation to the appropriate City Council. The City Council makes the decision, and may either approve the change, deny it, or approve it with conditions.
The Conditional Use Permit (CUP) procedure provides for certain uses which cannot be well adjusted to their environment in particular occasions with full protection offered to surrounding properties by rigid application of the district regulations. As with a Rezoning, a Conditional Use Permit requires a public hearing by the appropriate Board of Adjustments. The Board of Adjustments makes the decision, and may either approve the use, deny it, or approve it with conditions.
A Dimensional Variance is a request to deviate from the strict standards of the Zoning Ordinance, and is subject to strict restrictions. A Dimensional Variance may only be granted if the zoning rules create a hardship, which in turn prevents the reasonable use of the property. Also the hardship must not be “self imposed,” and must result from a characteristic which is unique to the property (i.e., a characteristic that is not shared by other nearby properties). A Dimensional Variance requires a public hearing by the appropriate Board of Adjustments. The Board of Adjustments makes the decision, and may either approve, deny it, or approve it with conditions.
How will I know what development is being proposed?
Rezoning - The signs described above are posted on the property at least 15 days before the scheduled hearing date. In addition, a letter is sent to the owner of each property adjoining the property for which a rezoning is considered. Finally, an ad is placed in the local newspaper in the legal section. Items to be considered are listed in the agenda. The agenda is posted on the Union County web site (www.unioncountyky.org) about 1 week before the meeting. When an item is deferred, a revised notice is not provided as long as the date on which the case is deferred is announced at the time of the deferral. If the advertising schedule permits, deferred items are advertised in the newspaper and will almost always be included in the meeting agenda. If you plan to attend the meeting, you may wish to call the Planning Commission (270-389-2093) to make sure that your case is still scheduled for hearing. An applicant may request a deferral of the public hearing any time up to the hearing.
Subdivision & Site Plans - There is no sign posted for subdivision and site plan requests. There are no mailed notices or advertisements for these cases. However, all cases will be listed in the agenda for the meeting and can be viewed at the County web site.
How can I find out what is going on with a particular case?