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Dunes Presentation To The City Council <br />June 13, 2000 <br />Honorable Mayor and City Council. It is a pleasure to appear before you as Chairman of <br />your Planning Commission. The Planning Commission is your primary advisory body on <br />Land Use, Planning and Zoning matters. It is unusual for the Panning Commission to <br />personally appear before you. Our recommendations are usually submitted to you through <br />city staff. However, due to the time the Planning Commission has spent reviewing the <br />Dunes project and the number of meetings it held the Mayor and City Council requested <br />that I come before you to explain the process the Commission went through, the <br />conclusions we reached, and how we reached them <br />The Planning Commission conducted 2 initial study sessions, open to the public, where <br />we reviewed the project and the early environmental documentation. These occurred in <br />the fall of 1999. The purpose was to give the Commission an early orientation to the <br />proposed project so we could become familiar with the project and the issues associated <br />with it. In addition, we had the project as a discussion item on a later regular meeting <br />agenda. <br />In January of this year we started the public hearing process which eventually totaled 7 <br />hearings over 5 months. From the outset we determined that public participation was <br />extremely important. We made all possible attempts to publicize our meetings though the <br />legal notification process as well as using the local press. <br />We knew from the outset that there was a lot of interest in this project so we were rather <br />strict in adhering to a 3 minute time limit on public testimony. At the beginning of each <br />meeting we advised the public of our strict adherence to this time limit and encouraged <br />everyone to present their points in outline form, give us new information to assist us in <br />our deliberations, and to follow up with written supplementary information to support <br />their oral testimony. As a result we had well over 100 speakers. It is interesting to note <br />that although we were not conducting a plebiscite those speaking in favor of and those in <br />opposition to the project were remarkably even in their numbers. We also received <br />hundreds of pages of letters, faxes and a -mails as well as telephone calls on the project. <br />We also tried to follow a logical path in our deliberations so that the public could follow <br />our progress and participate in the deliberations with us. We started from the broad <br />perspective of whether or not the project was worth considering and sequentially <br />narrowed the deliberations down to project design factors and impact mitigation. At the <br />end of each meeting we carefully explained what we had done that evening. At the <br />beginning of each subsequent meeting we recapped where we were and what we were <br />going to try to accomplish that evening. During each session of public testimony we <br />carefully kept track of all questions raised and then answered everyone of them in the <br />staff report for the following meeting. The Commission feels that with all this extra effort <br />those citizens that wanted to participate in our deliberations had ample opportunity to do <br />so and have their testimony, oral and written, carefully considered by the Commission. <br />