The Greensboro City Council will hold its second virtual meeting on Tuesday, April 21 beginning at 5:30 p.m. and it will be another historic first for the City Council.
This meeting will be the first virtual meeting that involves public hearings. In fact, all 16 items on the agenda are public hearings items. One reason for the special meeting held on Tuesday, April 14 was to clear the agenda for the April 21 meeting of other items.
The agenda has an unusually long list of public hearing items because the City Council did not hold a meeting with public hearings in March due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place.
The public was prohibited from attending the City Council meeting on March 31, although the media was allowed to attend. The March 31 meeting was not a virtual meeting, but it was unusual in that three councilmembers participated by phone. However, because the public was not allowed to attend, there was no way to hold a public hearing.
For this virtual meeting there are two ways for the public to comment on the 16 public hearing items. One is through written comments emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The notice on the agenda notes that people should send typed comments only, not embedded videos. It also states, “When emailing comments or requests to participate in the public hearings, please provide your name and identify and which public hearing items you are addressing.”
And that brings up the second way to participate, which is by speaking at the virtual meeting. The notice states, “Persons requesting to participate in the public hearings during the April 21, 2020 City Council will be emailed a separate online meeting invitation with instructions on how to participate, including a unique password that cannot be used by other individuals.”
So people who wish to participate in the meeting can email comments or email a request to speak at the meeting.
Also, although there are 16 items listed for public hearings, there are only nine different issues. For example, Item 1 and Item 2 on the agenda both deal with the rezoning request for property at the intersection of Lawndale Drive and Lake Jeanette Road. Traditionally, the City Council combines the agenda items dealing with one piece of property into a single public hearing.
So the 16 agenda items should result in nine public hearings.