And the Learning Begins!
February 16, 2013 § 17 Comments
It is not official but I have received MANY warm welcomes and congratulations from people throughout the community and today I received a letter from the Mayor, it looks as though I made the cut and if all goes as planned will be a Planning and Zoning Commissioner next Tuesday. Here is where the education begins!
So, I would be lying if I said I was super familiar with the whole city government system, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I’m not but in my defense it’s been a few years since government class, in reality it’s all pretty overwhelming. And, since this is a learning blog, here is where we start learning about this process, if people are interested that is. I will add that one of the main reasons I am interested in learning on this side of the fence is largely motivated by how it can impact the tiny house community. Zoning is a big hurdle if not THE big hurdle for tiny homes, there are problems getting incorporated. I believe this is due to a couple different factors though not really revolving around zoning but classification systems, none of these factors do I fully understand yet. This is my learning process and I invite you to learn with me. If I post comments that aren’t clear or if someone has questions please leave a comment and ask. If I can’t answer I will certainly ask any questions and do my best to find great answers, I’m quiet but I’m not really very shy, please, all questions welcome, let’s figure this out together.
So, I want to take a tiny little bit to explain how this position falls in line with the rest of the City of Meridian. What is the Planning and Zoning Commission? I will defer to Wikipedia, they are far more concise than me!
A Planning and Zoning Commission is a local elected or appointed government board charged with recommending to the local town or city council the boundaries of the various original zoning district and appropriate regulations to be enforced therein and any proposed amedments thereto and shall collect data and keep itself informed as to the best practices generally in effect in the matter city planning and zoning to the end that it may be qualified to act on measures affecting the present and future movement of traffic, the segregation of residential and business districts and the convenience and safety of persons and property in any way dependent on city planning and zoning.
The chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission (or a staff member) is responsible for publishing public hearing in the newspaper about certain matters that come before the commission. Most municipal or county Planning and Zoning Commissions consisting of five to seven members. This number does not include alternates.
Some communities elect members of the commission. In other jurisdictions the Planning and Zoning Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor or First Selectman of the city or town and approved by the city’s legislative body, i.e. city council, board of aldermen, etc (some planning and zoning commissioners are appointed by the City Commission as a whole).
So, in this case, I was approached by a current Commissioner to see if I was interested in filling a position that is opening but I could have just as easily applied directly to the Mayors Office as well. I was contacted shortly thereafter by the Mayors office to set up an interview. I met with two of the current Commissioners and the Mayor to figure out if I was a good fit for them and visa-versa. It was pretty laid back and casual overall, it felt rather comfortable for an interview :). Even though I don’t know as much about the process just yet as I should I do know that I have valuable skills and passions that will be of use for my community and I am excited for the opportunity to contribute and learn from this adventure! So I don’t want to get too in depth so that seems like plenty for now, I’m excited!
So, is this something people would be interested in hearing more about? As I see it, it could bring valuable insights to some holes in the tiny house community structure and potentially bring good insights as to how to make the transition of legalizing tiny houses smoother, or it may not bring anything, I don’t really know yet but I am happy to share if people would be interested? Thoughts?