We recently received notice from the Bureau of Development Services that the hearing date for the Conditional Use Master Plan (CUMP) for the Washington High Community Center (WHCC) will be held on July 23rd at 9:30 am before the City’s Land Use Hearings Officer. The hearing location is 1900 SW 4th Street, Suite 3000. Residents who live within 400’ of the WHCC site will receive an individually-mailed notice of the hearing. There will be opportunity for the applicant and the neighborhood association to testify at the hearing. Testimony from other interested parties also will be taken. If you are unable to attend the hearing but want to submit comments, you can send an e-mail to the Senior Planner assigned to the case, Kathleen Stokes, at firstname.lastname@example.org, up until July 22nd. She will then present all written communications to the Hearings Officer. You may also present written testimony at the hearing itself if you prefer that to testifying in public. Written testimony is given the same weight as oral testimony.
Once the public record is closed, typically at the end of the hearing, the Hearings Officer has 17 days to render his decision. Then follows a 14-day appeal period. Only people who have submitted written or oral testimony at the public hearing have “standing” to appeal. If no appeal is filed, the Hearings Officer’s decision will become final. If an appeal is filed, the City Council will schedule a hearing usually within one month. The appeal hearing at City Council is run in the same manner as the initial hearing before the Hearings Officer. The City Council’s decision is final at the local level, although opponents can carry their appeal further to the Land Use Board of Appeals.
Approval for the CUMP means that development of this project could move forward once funds are available. This CUMP will be valid for 10 years.