The SPRC convenes and leads participants in the process of site analysis, evaluation and discussion in light of the County’s adopted plans and policies. In that process, the SPRC through its Chair explores where there might be areas of consensus regarding the public value in a project, or its absence, in light of the County’s plans and policies; but also where there might be competing views and areas for further discussion that the full Planning Commission would take up at their monthly public meeting, once the SPRC has concluded.
During the SPRC conversation, participants ask questions of staff and the developer, and comment on the site plan proposal. Participants are able to hear each other out and consider the positions of others at the table, including the applicant. An open, robust conversation of this kind can provide an understanding of overlapping or conflicting views. The discussion may reveal where community or neighborhood values and interests lie, and thus suggest novel areas for review and suggested modifications for a project.
No votes are taken at SPRC. Rather, the intent is to explore where consensus exists. In that endeavor, the Chair may synthesize various comments and views that are presented, and ask whether those representations accurately reflect consensus and/or opposing views. Consensus, in general, is the judgment arrived at by some, many or most of the participants at the table, as the case may be, and is a coherent, citizen view expressed by informed questions and comments regarding the public value of a site plan proposal. Consensus leaves room for dissent or competing views, as well as any unresolved issues, which may ultimately be referred to the full Planning Commission for discussion after the SPRC has concluded.