A Determination of Similar Use is when the Planning Commission
determines that a proposed use that is not in the zoning ordinance is "similar" to a use that is in the zoning code. The zoning administrator first issues a statement of clarification finding that the use is not sufficiently similar to any other use specifically listed and regulated in the zoning code. Any person proposing such use may then file an application for the Planning Commission to determine if a use is or is not similar to other uses permitted in each district. The Planning Commission is a 21-member citizen board appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council. Their 8-member Zoning Committee
holds a public hearing and makes a recommendation to the full Planning Commission. All property owners within 350 feet of the subject property and the Citizen Participation District Council
for the area are notified by mail at least 10 days prior to the public hearing.
The Zoning Committee holds public hearings every other Thursdays. The hearings start at 3:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the City Hall/ Courthouse. It is essential that the applicant or their representative attend the hearing.
At the public hearing, the Zoning Committee hears a staff report and recommendation, hears public testimony and makes a recommendation on the request. The Planning Commission receives the recommendation of their Zoning Committee at its next meeting, 8:30 a.m. on the Friday of the following week, when they approve or deny the application. This is a public meeting, but no public testimony can be heard.