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(A) Authority. This chapter, including the Official Zoning Map, may be amended from time to time by the Town Council, as herein specified, but no amendment shall become effective unless it shall have been proposed by or shall first have been submitted to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation. The Planning Commission shall have 30 days within which to submit its report. If the Planning Commission fails to submit a report within the 30-day period, it shall be deemed to have approved the proposed amendment.
(B) Requirements for change. When the public necessity, convenience, general welfare or good zoning practice justifies the action, and after the required review and report by the Planning Commission, the Town Council may undertake the necessary steps to amend this chapter.
(C) Procedure for amendments. A proposed amendment to this chapter shall be processed in accordance with the following requirements.
(1) Initiation of amendments. A proposed amendment to this chapter may be initiated by the Planning Commission or by application filed with the Clerk of Court by the owner or owners of the property proposed to be changed or the holder of an option on the property.
(2) Application procedure. Application forms for amendment requests shall be obtained from the Clerk/Treasurer. Completed forms, together with an application fee to cover administrative costs, plus any additional information the applicant feels to be pertinent, will be filed with the Clerk/Treasurer. Any communication purporting to be an application for the amendment shall be regarded as mere notice to seek relief until it is made in the form required. Applications for amendments must be submitted, in proper form, at least two weeks prior to a Planning Commission meeting in order to be heard at that meeting. Application fees shall be forwarded by the Clerk/Treasurer to the Zoning Administrator who shall supervise the application of same to the costs of advertising and other administrative expenses.
(3) Hearing by the Planning Commission. All papers and other data submitted by the applicant on behalf of the amendment request shall be transmitted to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission, at regular meetings, shall review staff reports and prepare a report including its recommendation, for transmittal to the Town Council. All meetings of the Planning Commission shall be open to the public. At a meeting, any party may appear in person, by agent or by attorney. No member of the Planning Commission shall participate in a matter in which he or she has any pecuniary or special interest. Following action by the Planning Commission, all papers and data pertinent to the application shall be transmitted to the Town Council for final action.
(4) Public hearing by the Town Council. Before enacting an amendment to this chapter, the Town Council shall hold a public hearing thereon; notice of the time and place of which shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the town at least 15 days in advance of the scheduled hearing date.
(5) Changes in the Zoning Map. Following final action by the Town Council, any necessary changes shall be made in the Zoning Map. A written record of the type and date of the change shall be maintained by the Clerk/Treasurer. Until the change is made, no action by the Town Council on amendments to this chapter shall be considered official, unless the Clerk of Court fails to make the change within seven days after formal action by the Council. In the latter event, action by the Town Council shall be considered official seven days after the date of the action, even if the Clerk has failed to make the appropriate change.
(6) Reconsideration of proposed amendments. The Town Council shall not reconsider a proposed amendment to the Zoning Map if the amendment requests a change to the same zoning classification for the same lot, parcel or portion thereof, for a period of one year from the date of final determination of the prior request unless the Planning Commission recommends to the Town Council that the reconsideration be given after the Planning Commission has found that either:
(a) There has been substantial change in the character of the area; or
(b) Evidence or factors or conditions exist which were not considered by the Planning Commission or the Board in previous deliberations which might substantially alter the basis upon which the previous determination was reached.
(Ord. 97-04, passed 12-19-1996)