public hearing

Running a Smooth Public Hearing

By C. Christine Fillmore

Ex Parte Communications and Land Use Boards

Q. What is an “ex parte" communication?
This is a Latin term that means “by or for one party." In this instance, it refers to communication between a land use board member and a person interested in an application, without other interested persons, other board members or the public being present.

Q. Are these types of discussions a problem for land use boards?
Yes, if an ex parte contact occurs, several different problems could arise when that contact is eventually disclosed.

Rehearings by the Planning Board

Unlike the zoning board of adjustment, there is no statute that requires any participant in a matter before the planning board to move for a rehearing prior to seeking further review of a decision by appeal. This can lead to confusion when a participant in fact does move the planning board to grant a request for rehearing.