Those seeking to request variances and rezonings will now do so through a new process, one that officials say will help to streamline the procedure.

The Canton City Council voted unanimously to disband the city’s planning commission Thursday. This new process will allow for more public input and less confusion, according to City Manager Billy Peppers.

Billy Peppers.jpg

Billy Peppers

Peppers detailed the new process at last Thursday’s council meeting.

“The new process would play out over a three month span,” he said. “During the first couple of weeks of that first month, city staff will review the application. The council will then receive information of what applications were received that month. Staff will then let the public know when the council’s public hearing will be held, and the applicant will be required to host a public input meeting with property owners near the site.”

The application packet will be made available to the public and council at the beginning of the second month before the first council meeting, Peppers said. Later that month, a technical report will be presented to the council. Then in the third month, the city council will hold a public hearing and vote.

Peppers added that the council may also hold a private meeting with the applicant during the application process, and the applicant may hold additional meetings with the public.

“The goal with this change is to streamline the process and bring in more public input,” Mayor Bill Grant said Thursday. “We want to let the public and council know early on about an application so we can have more input between the two parties.”

The planning commission, as of 2019, consisted of members Rick Zenna, Micki Farley, Jeanette D’Amico, chairman Richard Kemp, Leon Stafford, Leon Gramling, and Bill Magruder. They did not meet after the pandemic arrived in Georgia last March.

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