Bedford City Council established the Planning Commission in the enactment of the current City Charter in 1932. Article 9, Section 1 of the Charter dictates that there should be a Planning Commission of 5 members, consisting of 4 members appointed by Council from the citizens of the Municipality and the person holding the office of City Manager. The four general members hold office for a term of 4 years, with each of the appointments expiring on a different year to maintain continuity on the Commission.
Planning Commission members are compensated for the time spent in meetings. Article 9, Section 2 of the City Charter describes the powers of the Planning Commission. It dictates that the Planning Commission shall have the powers of recommendation and control as may be determined by ordinance of Council, concerning building, design, location, removal, relocation and alteration of any building or structure belonging to the Municipality or located in or on public streets or property; the location, widening, extension and vacation of streets, parks, park places, playgrounds and other public places; the approval of plats for the subdivision of land, location of railroads and street railways; the zoning of the Municipality for the purposes of regulating the location of trades, industries, apartment houses, dwellings or other uses of property; the height and design of buildings; the percentage of the area of lots that may be occupied by buildings; the area of a lot per family of occupation; the provision of yard space; the fixing of building lines and the preparation of plans for the future physical development and improvement of the Municipality; and such other powers as are now or hereafter may be conferred by the general law or by ordinance, provided, however, that existing ordinances shall be continued in full force and effect until repealed or modified by ordinance of Council.
The Planning Commission may also recommend to Council the amending, changing, or modifying of such ordinances, including the placing of additional restrictions upon any property or the reducing or abrogating of any present restriction now imposed thereon by the existing ordinances as duly enacted and amended by Council; provided, further, that any public hearings provided for in said zoning ordinances shall be held before the Planning Commission instead of Council, and all provisions provided by ordinance governing the filing of petitions, consents, notices, protests and proceedings shall apply to said hearings before the Planning Commission.
Most recently, the Planning Commission reviews site plans and serves as the architectural review committee for all new construction, as well as alterations that will significantly change the appearance of any existing structure or property. The Commission also reviews plans for lot splits and consolidations and reviews all requests for zoning changes and amendments. It reviews ordinances that will impact or change the way we consider yard and setback uses, such as the recent changes to the zoning code involving solar panels and windmills. It also considers questions involving the approved uses for various zoning districts and approves conditional uses in those districts.
The Secretary of the Planning Commission forwards all final orders and decisions of the Planning Commission to City Council, which Council must pass upon not later than the next regular Council meeting. Council may thereafter affirm, modify or reverse the order of the Planning Commission, or may refer the matter back to the Planning Commission upon such terms and conditions and for such reasons as Council may decide.
The Planning Commission meets twice monthly when there is an agenda, on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday evenings. Meetings are held at 5:30 in the afternoon in most cases. An application to appear before the Planning Commission is available on this site. Applications and the accompanying information must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the planned meeting in order to be considered for inclusion on the agenda for that meeting.
CURRENT PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS:
PLANNING COMMISSION 4-year terms (1st and 3rd Tuesday – Work Session 6:00 pm & Regular Meeting TBD) (meetings as needed) (Ref: Ord. 7504-02)
Mike Mallis, City Manager 440/735-6515 or firstname.lastname@example.org