Ordinance requires notification of landowners adjacent to properties proposed for re-zoning

For the second time in a month, the Oakland Board of Mayor and Aldermen has unanimously passed an ordinance on final reading that requires notification of landowners adjacent to properties proposed for re-zoning.
Board members took the action Thursday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Billy Ray Morris and seconded by Alderman Karl Chambless.
The ordinance was unanimously passed on first reading at the board’s March 19 meeting and initially on final reading at the April 16 meeting.
But last week, Mayor Chris Goodman acknowledged that the board had “neglected” to conduct a public hearing on it.
“One of the things we’ve always talked about is making sure that we follow as closely as we can to what’s laid out in front of us,” he noted. “So, I put this back on the agenda for this month to make sure that we follow through with what our policy says we do.”
When Goodman opened the public hearing at last week’s meeting, no one in the audience made any comments.
The ordinance amends the text of the Municipal Zoning Ordinance by adding the following requirements:
When an amendment to the Zoning Map is requested by a petition for annexation or re-zoning, the Oakland Codes Enforcement Office must send certified letters informing the owners of the properties “physically adjoining and across the street” from the land proposed for re-zoning.
Written notice of a public hearing on the proposal will be sent to all owners whose properties are within 500 feet of the land that is the subject of the request.
The letters must be mailed at least 15 days prior to the public hearing or, as specified by law, before the board’s final reading of the re-zoning ordinance.
The applicant will be required to give the Codes Enforcement Office:
(1) pre-addressed, stamped envelopes with sufficient postage for Certified Mail; and
(2) a vicinity map showing the property that is the site of the application and all parcels where the owners must be notified.
Notification letters will not be required in instances where multiple properties, other than the petitioned ones, are zoned or re-zoned based on a planning commission recommendation or through the adoption of a new Zoning Map.
At least 15 days prior to the public hearing or the ordinance’s final reading, the applicant must post a sign on the property requested for re-zoning.
The sign will instruct its readers to call the Codes Enforcement Office “for information about the proposed development” and will include the office’s telephone number.
It must be placed on each side of the subject parcel that faces a public right of way, 10 feet from the right of way and “completely visible” to the public, “not obscured by shrubbery, weeds, buildings or other objects.”
The Codes Enforcement Office will be required to confirm that the sign has been posted and is visible from the street.
The applicant must:
(1) maintain the sign “in good order” until it is required to be removed;
(2) frequently check the status of the sign and “immediately replace” it if it has “fallen or been destroyed.”