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Contact:BrianToohey
ChiefExecutiveOfficer
5732191240(cell)
5734462400(office)

ColumbiaBoardofREALTORSPresidentsendslettertoCityCounciltakingissuewithUDChearingscheduleandrules

COLUMBIA,Mo.TheColumbiaBoardofREALTORSexpressedconcernstomembersoftheColumbiaCityCouncil
regardingtheUnifiedDevelopmentCodehearingscheduleandrulesvialetterfrom2017BoardPresident,JimMeyer.
SeecorrespondencefromMr.Meyerbelow.

February17,2017

Mayor&MembersoftheCityCouncil
CityofColumbiaMissouri
P.O.Box6015
Columbia,MO652026015

Re:UniformDevelopmentCodePublicCommentSchedule

DearMayorandMembersoftheCityCouncil:

IamwritingtoexpresstheColumbiaBoardofREALTORSBoardofDirectorsconcernregardingtheschedule
andprocesssetforthbytheColumbiaCityCouncilforpubliccommentoftheUnifiedDevelopmentCode
(UDC).Asstakeholderswhowillbeeffectedbythenewcode,andaschampionsforthepropertyrightsofall
propertyowners,wefeeltheCouncilshouldreconsiderthescheduleandrulesforaddressingtheCouncilin
regardtotheUDC.

First,thenewformatoftheCityCouncilHearingDraftoftheUDChasmadeitdifficulttocrossreferencethe
hearingdraftwiththedraftapprovedbythePlanningandZoningCommission.Onlyallowingthreeandhalf
daysforthepublictoreviewandunderstandthisnewdraftseemstobebadpublicpolicyforsuchandimport
andcomplexagendaitem.ThisseemsespeciallytruegiventhattheCityslegaldepartmenthasrequired
changesunknowntothepublic,someofwhichmayhavesubtleeffectsontheimpartoftheUDC.The
scheduledoesnotallowforadequatetimesubmitwrittencommenttobesubmittedtoCouncilbeforethe
February20thmeeting.TheCityCouncilHearingDraftoftheUDCwasreleasedat11:00a.m.onWednesday,
February15th,withwrittencommentstobesubmittedtotheCityClerkbynoonthesamedayonehour
later.TheonehourtimeframetosubmitcommentsforMondaysmeetingseemsunconscionablyshort,to
saytheleast,especiallyconsideringtheeditingandformatchangescraftedbytheLegalDepartment.

Wealsotakeissuewiththepolicyguaranteeinganindividualonlyasingle,sixminutecommentperiodonce
throughoutthecontemplatedfourmeetingseriestomakepubliccommentsbeforetheCouncil.Asyouknow,
theUDChearingdraftconsistsofmorethan300pagesoftextdividedintosixarticles.Onlyallowingsix
minutestocommentonsuchalargevolumetextseemsrushedanddeficient.Holdingoutthepolicyof
additionalcomments,andtheMayorsdiscretion,onacasebycasebasisdoesnotalleviateourconcern.

Inaddition,CitizensshouldnotberequiredtosignuptospeakinordertomakepubliccommentsontheUDC.
TheyshouldbeabletofollowthenormalpracticeattendingaCityCouncilmeetingtomakepubliccomments
fortherecordregardinganitemappearingbeforetheCouncil.

IftheCouncilperseveresinrequirecitizenssignuptospeak,everycitizenwhotakesthetimetoappearatCity
Hallandsignsuptospeakshouldbeguaranteedatleastoneopportunitytospeakatsomepointpriortoa
finalCouncilvoteontheUDC,regardlessofwhetherornotdoingsowouldexceedtheplanned1.5houror2
hourperiodforpubliccommentscontemplatedfortheFebruary20th,March6thand20thmeetings.Additional
meetingshouldbeautomaticallyapproved,ifnecessary,dependingonthenumberofCitizenswhowishto
speaktothisissue.

CitizensshouldbegrantedanadditionalopportunitytospeakaftertheCouncilhasintroducedall
amendmentsandthepublichashadachancetodigestandunderstandthoseamendments.Ifnotallowedto
commentagainonamendmentsproposedbyCouncilmembers,citizenscanbeexpectedtowaittospeakat
theMarch20thmeetingtoensuretheopportunitytocommentontheentireUDC,includingamendments.
TwohourshardlyseemssufficientforCounciltohearfromthepublicattheMarch20thmeeting.

TheDirectorsofmyBoardunderstandtheneedtoputlimitsonmeetingsandcommentperiodstobeableto
moveforwardtowardsavoteontheUDC.However,thelimitsestablishedbytheCouncilseeminadequateto
citizensrightstocommentonproposedpublicpolicy,especiallyanordinancewithsomuchatstakeforlocal
propertyowners.

Sincerely,

JamesC.Meyer
President
ColumbiaBoardofREALTORS

2309I70Drive,N.W.Columbia,MO65202Phone:5734462400Fax:5734462646

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