Planning Commission Public Hearings

Planning Commission public hearings vary in length, depending on the number and complexity of agenda items, as well as the number of citizen speakers. The Planning Commission agenda, whether for a public hearing or work session, is subject to change. Contact the Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-777-0246 on the day of the meeting to confirm that an item is on the most current agenda.

The Planning Commission establishes its own rules for the conduct of public hearings to ensure a smooth and orderly process, outlined in its bylaws and procedures. The Chairman determines the format of public hearings in the context of his/her opening remarks.


The normal procedure followed for a hearing before the Commission shall be:

  1. Call public hearing to order
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Introduction by staff
  4. Staff presentation, including a description of properties in issue together with findings by staff (10 minutes), questions by Commissioners
  5. Applicant’s presentation (when applicable), including representatives in support of the application (10 minutes), chair may extend additional time if requested by the applicant prior to the meeting, questions by Commissioners
  6. Speakers in favor of or in opposition to the application (public comments):
    • 3 minutes for individuals
    • 6 minutes for individuals who identify themselves as representatives of citizens’ organizations or civic associations
      • Individuals representing an organization must submit a letter from the organization authorizing that individual to speak on their behalf
    • No individual will be allowed to address the Commission more than once unless specifically requested by a member of the Commission who has received the approval of the Chair
    • This may be modified at the Chair’s discretion
  7. Questions by Commissioners may be asked of speakers at the Chair’s discretion
  8. Rebuttal for applicant (5 minutes), this may be modified at the Chair’s discretion
  9. Close of public hearing
  10. Commission discussion and action