How to provide land use pubic hearing testimony

Steps to follow when testifying at public hearings


Sign—in Sheet :  Print your name and address on the sign-in sheet when entering the room if you wish to speak during the hearing.

Be Courteous:  This is a public meeting where there may be a diversity of viewpoints.  Clapping or noise in support or in opposition to an individual’s testimony is not allowed.

Be Informed:  Prior to planning your testimony, read staff reports, attend meetings held by neighborhood associations, developers, etc.

Time Saving Steps:  Often there are a large number of individuals planning to testify at a public hearing.  To be able to accommodate everyone and get the public hearing completed in a timely manner, please move to the front of the room and be prepared to approach the podium when your name is called. Please limit your testimony to the amount of time that is outlined  by the chairman or mayor at the meeting.

State Name & Address:  Idaho State Law requires that during public hearings, when it is your turn to testify, you must clearly state your name and address for the record prior to starting your comments.

Hearing Decisions:  The primary basis for any land use decision is the set of required findings set forth in the New Meadows Code(s).  These findings vary with each type of application.  Public testimony is very important to help the Commission or City Council determine if the findings can be met.

Remember Your Objective:  Usually, this objective is to persuade the Commission or City Council that the adopted statutes and ordinances favor your side of the issue.  Be specific.  Public comments are usually limited to 5 minutes per individual.  Some additional time may be granted if a spokesperson is selected to represent several individuals.

Meetings are Recorded: As part of the process, all Land Use Public Hearings are recorded and kept for a minimum of six months after the final decision.  Speak clearly and concisely.

Be Reasonable:  The Commission and City Council must balance all views, interests, ordinances and proposals, in an attempt to determine the best course for serving the overall public good.  While it is your obligation to present your own facts and interests, remember that most issues have at least two sides.  Be prepared to compromise.

Ex Parte’ Contact:  If the hearing involves a specific property, please do not try to contact any of the P&Z Commissioners or City Council Members.  This contact is not allowed by Idaho Statute and may jeopardize the hearing. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Why did I get a notice in the mail?

A: The Idaho Land Use Law, along with New Meadows codes, requires notices be mailed in addition to other forms of public notice on all Land Use decisions that require a Public Hearing.

Q: If I have not added my name to the sign-in sheet, will I still be able to provide testimony?

A: Yes.  When those individuals who have signed up to testify have finished, the Chairperson or Mayor will ask if there is anyone else that would like to testify.  At that time you may raise your hand, stand up, and move toward the podium.

Q: In lieu of verbal testimony, will written testimony be accepted?

A: Yes.  Written testimony should be delivered to City Hall at least one week prior to the hearing.  If it is not, written comments will be read aloud at the hearing, including emailed or faxed testimony.  Please sign your written testimony.

Q: If I provide hard copy information to the Commissioners during my testimony, will I get it back?

A: Anything you submit becomes part of the public record and cannot be returned to you, including photos, brochures, etc.

Q: What time will the issue be heard that I want to provide testimony for?

A:  Staff is unable to provide exact times.  It is recommended that you arrive when the meeting is noticed to begin.

Q: Will the Commissioners or City Council make their decision at the meeting?

A:  The Commissioners or City Council attempt to take testimony and make a decision at the meeting.  However, there may be times when additional information needs to be provided by staff or other governmental agencies, etc.  If this occurs, the decision is continued to the next meeting or a specified date.

Q:  What is the difference between a Public Meeting and Public Hearing?

A: Public Hearings are periods within a Public Meeting where the board solicits information from the public.



· Sign-In

· Be Courteous & Informed

· Save Time

· State your Name & Address

· Testimony is IMPORTANT

· Remember your objective

· Meetings are recorded

· Be Reasonable

· AND—No Ex Parte’ Contact


Public Notices for the City of New Meadows are required to be published in the newspaper of record, The Star News. 


Public Notices are also sent to agencies that have requested to be notified on each applicant.  They are also sent to property owners within 300 feet of the applicable property, using mailing addresses supplied by a title company within Adams County.


City Staff can only process applications. They cannot deny or approve applications unless otherwise allowed under city / state codes.


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.  Any person needing special accommodations to participate in any noticed meeting should contact New Meadows City Hall prior to the meeting at 208-347-2171.  This publication and others can be translated into Spanish upon request.


Esta institución es un proveedor de igualdad de oportunidades. Cualquier persona que necesite adaptaciones especiales a participar en cualquier reunión notado deben ponerse en contacto con nuevos Meadows City Hall antes de la reunión en 208-347-2171. Esta publicación y otros pueden ser traducidos al español, previa solicitud.



* P&Z Commissioner Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month at 7pm

* City Council Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 7pm

* Airport Commission Meetings are  held on the third Monday of each month at 5:30pm

* Parks & Recreation Committee Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month at 5:30pm

All meetings are open to the public with the exception of certain “Executive Sessions” called under Idaho Code 74-206


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