City of Opelika’s March 24 Planning Commission canceled because of COVID-19 concerns

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Special to the Opelika Observer

Because of concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Opelika
is canceling the March 24 Planning Commission meeting. We understand that
this will impact applicants, property and business owners, developers and design
professionals, but it is numerically impossible for us to hold this meeting after
Gov. Kay Ivey implemented a recent public health order.

In her order, she mandated that all gatherings of 25 persons or more be
prohibited. The Planning Commission meeting requires that at a minimum the
city has approximately 17 people present – commission members, city staff, attorney,
engineer, fire chief and power and utility personnel. This only leaves eight
available spots for attendees.

The March Commission Meeting had 17 agenda items with 14 public hearings.
The law states that the city must allow applicants and their engineers/surveyors,
as well as citizens and media attend the meeting. Therefore, the city planning
department and city officials know that it would be impossible to stay within the
governor’s order.

“We are looking at opportunities to implement technology that will allow us the
ability to hold public meetings in the next few weeks. If we can get this done, we
plan to call a special planning commission meeting prior to our next scheduled
meeting on April 28. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes
you,” said Planning Director Matt Mosely.

For more information, please call the City of Opelika Planning Department at
334-705-5156.

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