CPO Best Practices for Communicating with Citizens and Land-Use Applicants

Getting the message out about the CPO meeting

  1. Find an appropriate, centrally located, public meeting location.
  2. Secure a meeting location and time.
  3. Properly notice the meeting as required by the Public Meetings Law (refer to CPO Handbook.
  4. Contact your local newspaper and discuss future story ideas with editor.
  5. Use a sandwich board to announce CPO meetings – placed near the meeting location.
  6. Have a designated contact/public relations person.
  7. Attend a neighboring CPO meeting to learn from that group and announce your CPO meeting.
  8. Keep a mailing list of citizens interested in the CPO for future mailings.
  9. Use email as an additional tool to announce meetings.
  10. If available, use community newsletter to announce the date, time, and location of CPO meetings. Email newsletter, if possible.
  11. Introduce yourself and the CPO to new neighbors. Use CPO brochure to invite new neighbors to meetings.
  12. Organize and communicate early about the CPO and upcoming projects, if known.
  13. For controversial applications, use a phone tree to communicate/announce the CPO meeting.
  14. Use programs or speakers that draw people in who will stay for the business part of meeting.
  15. Have regularly scheduled meetings so people get into the habit of attending.
  16. Poll people on what topics they would like to learn about, e.g., various County departments, emergency preparedness, etc.
  17. CPO members go to other meetings and report back to CPO, such as: neighboring CPO meetings, CCI meetings, service clubs, etc.
  18. Have a joint meeting w/ neighboring CPO.

Once the CPO meeting has been scheduled

  1. Designate who should receive and review land-use applications prior to the meeting.
  2. Designate a contact person to be available for phone calls/inquiries.
  3. Have a central phone number for CPO business. Phone number could have an outgoing message line with the CPO information on it.
  4. Use newspaper to invite members, post notice/agenda at post office, sandwich board on street—put up Saturday before the meeting.
  5. Have volunteers distribute meeting notices/information sheets to neighbors.
  6. Call land-use applicant. Explain to the applicant why the CPO is notified and explain the CPO's role. (CCI to work on talking points for CPOs).
  7. Have a printed agenda (sample provided by CCI).

At the CPO meeting

  1. Have a sign-in sheet and ask people to sign-in.
  2. Post CPO maps provide by the County on wall or bulletin board.
  3. Bring Zoning and Development Ordinance, CPO bylaws, Road Map book issued at 10/02 CPO Chairs meeting, Best practices for Responding to Land-use Applications, CPO brochures.
  4. Have plenty of copies of the agenda.
  5. Start the meeting promptly.
  6. If new people are present, explain the purpose of the CPO.
  7. Announce bylaws are available for review. Bylaws – have to attend at least 2 meeting in order to vote (Model bylaws).
  8. Follow the agenda.
  9. Keep the meeting on track; don't let discussions go too long. Limit everyone's input to 2-3 minutes so everyone has an opportunity to talk.
  10. Role of the Chair: needs to be a good mediator, has mediation skills, has knowledge of the County Codes, knows/uses Roberts Rules of Order. Is unbiased, guides the decision making process. Chair does not vote, does not advocate or influence.
  11. Other topics of interest could be discussed under "Announcements" on the agenda.
  12. Approve the previous meeting's minutes.

When it's time to review a land-use application

  1. Read the application out loud.
  2. Use Best Practices for responding to land-use applications.
  3. Know how the application relates to the Zoning and Development Ordinance.
  4. Pay attention to the Zoning and Development Ordinance or Comprehensive Plan amendment applications.
  5. Identify where property is located. Use CPO Maps and Road Book.
  6. Identify the zoning designation of the property.
  7. Ask if the applicant is present. If applicant is present, ask her/him to explain application; or let the applicant explain their application, then open it up for discussion.
  8. Chair to allow and encourage discussion.
  9. Chair to make sure all proponents and opponents have been heard.
  10. Comment on application and contents (especially if information is inaccurate).
  11. Remind CPO that comments sent to Planning Division need to relate to Zoning and Development Ordinance criteria.
  12. CPO has to make a recommendation on the application. May add conditions of approval to address concerns.
  13. Vote on application and provide explanation of vote, use Best Practices for responding to land-use applications as a reference/resource.

After the CPO Meeting

  1. Send comments from land-use applications to Planning Division.
  2. Write up minutes to the meeting.
  3. Prepare agenda for next meeting.
  4. Send copy of meeting minutes to the Clackamas County Public and Government Relations Department at 906 Main St., Oregon City, 97045.
  5. After election of new officers, previous officers to hand over resource material: CPO Handbook, Comprehensive Plan, Zoning and Development Ordinance, CPO and Zoning Maps and Road Map book.