By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT
The Hays Area Planning Commission met Monday and discussed the fundamental structure of the proposed overhaul of zoning and subdivision regulations.
Jesse Rohr, Hays superintendent of planning, inspection and enforcement, said the first phase of the process aims to set clear definitions, explicitly refer to statutes and make the regulations a "one-stop shop" for developers, realtors and brokers.
"Hopefully they find it easier to use, find more information than we have now and less interpretation, so they're not having to either come up with their own interpretation or rely on staff or someone else," Rohr said.
Procedures for permits, appeals and applications would be outlined in the new rules. The review process for minor changes to plans could also be handled through city staff or a development review committee instead of a public hearing to expedite the result.
"That would allow the developer or builder, whoever may be given that decision, now instead of 60 days down the road after a public hearing," he said. "We want to do that. We want to facilitate development and shorten the time frame that it takes to get through development as much as possible."
Matt Bucchin, senior associate with Kendig Keast Collaborative, said the introductory phase aims to align procedures with state law and make them objective so developers can identify steps in the decision process.
The rewrite is also key because any legal challenges to city decisions will determine if the regulations support the city's comprehensive plan and vision. Applications also will need to meet minimum standards for completeness to save time.
The consultants will return Nov. 17 to attend a public meeting and discuss more changes with the planning xommission. The process is expected to conclude by June.