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‘Streamlined’ Process Violates Zoning Law

SACRAMENTO (CN) - A California appeals court has struck down a "streamlined zoning process" in Sierra County that the Environmental Defense Project of Sierra County challenged as a way of approving development recommendations behind closed doors, without public comment.

Under the state Planning and Zoning Law, the county planning commission must give notice of a public hearing at least 10 days in advance and provide a "general explanation of the matter to be considered."

The streamlined process allows the county to notify the public before the planning commission has made its recommendation on the proposed zoning ordinance or amendment. The board of supervisors may then approve recommendations made after the hearing.

The court affirmed declaratory judgment for the plaintiff, saying the expedited process violates state zoning law. See ruling.

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