Language regarding City Boards and Commissions related to Planning functions is located in two areas of the City’s Ordinance. Chapter 32 titled “Boards, Commissions and Departments” of the City’s Code of Ordinances (City-wide ordinance) provides ordinance language for various City boards such as Airport Commission, Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Economic Development Advisory Board, etc. as well as general language for all boards and commissions and Chapter 156 titled “Zoning Code” (planning ordinance) also provides ordinance language for Planning Board, Board of Adjustment and Historic District Commission.
The proposed language in the new UDO regarding Boards and Commissions is not consistent with the current ordinance language in Chapter 32 titled “Boards, Commissions and Departments” of the City’s Code of Ordinances. Staff found that ordinance language in our existing UDO is currently not consistent with Chapter 32 of the City’s Code of Ordinances. It appears that the UDO has been modified over the years but Chapter 32 has not; therefore, it was Staff’s goal to revise both to be consistent going forward. Prior to proposing revisions, Staff conducted research of Boards and Commissions from various municipalities that were similar in size of population to Monroe as well as those located within Union County. Research was conducted on nine (9) municipalities and one (1) county. Based on research conducted, Staff found that Planning Board members range from seven (7) to nine (9) members. The Town of Indian Trail, Waxhaw and Weddington all contain seven (7) regular members and the Monroe City Council currently contains seven (7) members, which is why we landed on a Planning Board membership of seven (7). If the ordinance amendment is approved by City Council, Staff wants to stress that the City of Monroe has no intention of the immediate reduction of any board memberships and reduction in members will occur by attrition. The current occupied seats for the boards consist of four (4) members for Historic District Commission, eight (8) for Planning Board and three (3) the Board of Adjustment.
Staff also reviewed several studies regarding effective decision-making for boards and groups. The take away from the various studies are the following:
· Boards should be large enough to carry out the board’s duties and responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner.
· Five (5) to seven (7) board members is ideal.
· The optimal number of board members to make an effective and efficient decision is seven (7).
· Every board member above seven (7) members decreases decision-making by 10%.
Items on the Consent Agenda are not hidden, however, they are not items that Require a Public Hearing. Staff Reports and all other attachments are included in the agenda packet posted for public review and the item can be pulled and put on the Regular Agenda.