Monday February 8, 2016

Council Tries New Format for Public Conversation on CAO November 28

On November 28, the San Juan County Council will conduct a moderated “Conversation” with groups and individuals interested in the update of the County’s Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO). The special meeting with the full Council will run from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Council Hearing Room in Friday Harbor. Residents will also be able to participate via video link with the Orcas and Lopez public libraries.
“Some members of the public have told us that the standard format for public participation in public hearings and workshops has been too restrictive to deal with this complex issue, so we are going to try something different,” said District 5 Council Member Patty Miller. “This meeting is being organized to let interested people present positive suggestions on some of the most contentious areas of the CAO, then discuss those suggestions with the Council, staff and other members of the public.”
The meeting will cover three subject areas contained in the CAO:
1)  Reasonable Use
2)  Nonconforming Uses
3)  Mitigation
The Council is asking groups and individuals that would like to propose a positive way to deal with any of the three areas to request time on the meeting’s agenda to make a presentation. Time will be allotted for each presentation, followed by comments and questions between the Council and the presenter, and a moderated discussion.
To avoid repetition and allow as much time as possible for discussion, the Council is asking each organized group to designate a spokesperson to make its initial presentation and to submit a one page description of any recommendations in advance of the meeting. Individuals and groups not scheduled in advance will be accommodated as time permits.
Anyone wishing to make a presentation should contact the Council office by email, at or by phone at (360) 370-7472.