How Does the Process Work for New Ordinances?
Proposed ordinances go through several steps from the moment a new ordinance is needed, all the way through to when they are enacted. AND that being said; certain types of ordinances, like "Zoning" Ordinances, go through additional steps. Below are the basic steps of newly proposed ordinances.
Authorization to send to the Planning Commissions for Review
Most newly proposed ordinances that are "Zoning" or "Sub-division/Land Development" in nature will need to be reviewed by the County Planning Commission as well as the Township Planning Commission. Depending on the type, they will generally have anywhere from 30 to 60 days to review and provide comments to the Board of Supervisors. BUT ordinances to enforce general powers or "Stand Alone" ordinances do not need to be reviewed by the Planning Commissions. (Although in some instances they are provide to the Planning Commissions as they may relate or affect "Zoning" or "Sub-division/Land Development" Ordinances.
Authorization to Advertise for Proposed Ordinances
After any and all reviews and a final draft is prepared, the Board of Supervisors will authorize to advertise for a public hearing on the proposed ordinances. There are strict regulations on how and when proposed ordinances are advertised and they vary for each type of ordinance. FOR EXAMPLE: "Zoning" Ordinances (to include amendments) must be published once a week for two successive weeks, no more than 30 days before the public hearing and no less than 7 days before the public hearing, in a newspaper of general circulation. (We use The Pocono Record) WHEREAS "Stand Alone" Ordinances need only be published once, no more that 60 days before a public hearing and no less than 7 days before a public hearing. Whenever there is a proposed ordinance advertised for a public hearing you will ALWAYS be able to find the document in one of a couple of different locations: The paper where it was advertised (Pocono Record); The Monroe County Law Library, and of course the Township Building. You are always welcome to request a copy in person, over the phone, or by email.
Time for the Public Hearing
At the public hearing (usually as an agenda item for the Board of Supervisors' Regular Business Meeting) residents and affected parties are able to make public comment regarding the proposed ordinance. A vote will be casted to open the public hearing where presentations and comments are made. After they will vote to close the public hearing at which time they may take action on the proposed ordinance. We also always except written comments prior to the public hearing for the Supervisors to review. If you have any question or want to submit a comment for review you can always contact the Township and our Staff will be happy to assist you.