[Adopted 9-26-1979 as Ch. 2, Art. III, Div. 2, of the 1979 Code]
There is hereby created the Planning Commission of the City.
The Planning Commission is to consist of seven (7) members appointed by the Mayor and concurred in by the Council.
All of the members of the Planning Commission shall be residents of the City. On all Planning Commissions appointed pursuant to this Article, at least five (5) shall be citizen members.
All members of the Planning Commission shall serve without compensation, but they may be reimbursed for necessary and reasonable expenses.
Two (2) members of the Planning Commission shall be appointed for a period of four (4) years whose terms shall expire December 31, 1979, two (2) members shall be appointed for three (3) years whose terms shall expire December 31, 1978, two (2) members shall be appointed for two (2) years whose terms shall expire December 31, 1977, and one (1) member shall be appointed for one (1) year whose term shall expire December 31, 1976. Thereafter all terms shall be for four (4) years or until a successor is appointed and qualified.
The Chairman of the Planning Commission shall promptly notify the Mayor concerning vacancies in the Commission, and such vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. When a vacancy exists for a reason other than expiration of term, it shall be filled by appointment for the remaining period of the existing term.
Any member of the Planning Commission once qualified and appointed may be removed from office for malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office or for other just cause by a majority vote of Council, taken after the member has received fifteen (15) days' advance notice of the intent to take such a vote. A hearing shall be held in connection with the vote if the member shall request it, in writing. Any appointment to fill a vacancy created by removal shall be only for the unexpired term. The refusal or failure of a member of the Commission to consistently attend meetings of the Planning Commission without cause shall be sufficient reason for removal from the Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission shall elect its own chairman and vice-chairman and create and fill such other offices as it may determine. Officers shall serve annual terms and may succeed themselves. The Commission may make and alter bylaws and rules and regulations to govern its procedures consistent with the ordinances of the City and the laws of the commonwealth. The Commission shall keep a full record of its business and shall annually make a written report by March 1 of each year of its activities to the Council. Interim reports may be made as often as may be necessary, or as requested by the Council.
The Planning Commission shall follow procedure for meetings as hereby established:
The time and place of regular meetings shall be properly posted on the bulletin board on the first floor of City hall at least three (3) days before such meetings are held.
The time and place of special meetings shall be posted on the bulletin board on the first floor of City hall at least twenty-four (24) hours before such meetings are held.
Regular and special meetings shall be opened to the public and citizens shall be allowed to speak. Public involvement shall be encouraged at all times.
Regular and special meetings shall be opened to the news media (press, radio and television), including tools of their trade, so that meetings can be fully covered and properly reported for the public's information.
The Mayor, Council and Department and Bureau heads shall be notified of the time and place of any meeting.
If the Planning Commission fails to comply with this section, business transacted at meetings of the Commission will not be considered official. Therefore, Council will take no action based upon business transacted at meetings not considered official under this section.
The Planning Commission shall at the request of the Council have the power and shall be required to:
Maintain and keep on file records of its action. All records and files of the Planning Commission shall be in the possession of the Council.
The Planning Commission at the request of the Council may:
Make recommendations to the Council concerning the adoption or amendment of an official map.
Prepare, recommend and administer subdivision and land development, planned residential development regulations, as set forth in the Municipalities Planning Code.
Do such other acts or make such studies as may be necessary to fulfill the duties and obligations imposed by the Municipalities Planning Code.
Prepare and present to the Council an environmental study.
Submit to the Mayor a recommended capital improvements program.
Promote public interest in, and understanding of, the comprehensive plan and planning.
Make recommendations to governmental, civic and private agencies and individuals as to the effectiveness of the proposals of such agencies and individuals.
Hold public hearings and meetings.
Require from other departments and agencies of the City such available information as relates to the work of the Planning Commission.