5 Tips on speaking at public meetings

It is wonderful to see so many people engaging in the public planning processed in the Roaring Fork Valley!

Here are a few tips on how to speak during public comments at a meeting:

1. Introduce yourself – first and last name, where you live, and the source of your relevant interest in the project at question. In ONE sentence please. No lengthy bios.
2. Understand the application and what types of comments will be relevant. For example, to comment on a project that is in final review, having received previous approvals, make your comments relevant to the standards applicable to the development, with the eye to ensuring that the public interest is represented. (i.e., parking requirements, snow storage, #’s of affordable housing units). It is not helpful or relevant to merely say “I am against this project”. The property owners have certain rights to development under land use and zoning.
3. Be clear about what you want the review agency to do. State that you want the review board to increase the width of the sidewalks proposed to allow multi-use. State that you want the review board to request that the developers provide off-street loading for deliveries. Do not just state that ‘the project is too big’.
4. Be concise. Most meetings allow 3 minutes per comment; most listeners probably tune out after 2 minutes.
5. Be polite. Treat the members of your boards and commissions with the same respect that you expect. Do not belittle members for their opinions or actions. Find something good to say!

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