What to Expect

The Commission

You will be asked to present your request before the Commission. The Commission consists of nine members appointed by the County Commissioners. One of the members serves as chairman and presides at meetings and hearings. Also present will be the Administrator and Secretary.

At the Hearing

  • You will begin by stating your name and address for the record. Then state your intentions, and the purpose for these intentions.
    • All information will be considered in determining your zoning issue.
    • Any pertinent information is useful.
    • Visuals are a plus (pictures of the area, maps showing size, roads, plot plans, etc.)

Questions to the Applicant

The Chairman then asks the members if they have any questions for the applicant. At this time the members may ask the applicant any question pertaining to the request. The applicant may then answer the questions. Persons attending the meeting may also ask questions pertaining to the proposed request.

  • Note: all questions and comments should be addressed to the Commission.

Accept / Deny the Application

At the end of the questioning, the chairman will ask for a motion to accept or deny the application. In most cases the motion will be made, seconded and passed to hold a hearing at the next regular meeting. The applicant now has a month to prepare for the hearing. Remember, the questions you answered at this meeting are not the hearing. Next month at the hearing present all information again, and be sure to address any questions brought up at the meeting that you may not have had the answer to.

Legal Notice

The Planning and Zoning office will write a legal notice and submit it to the local newspaper for advertising. This same notice is sent to landowners within 300 feet, or adjoining owners if more than 300 feet. All of the following are placed in the applicants file:

  • Applications
  • Conformation of Mailing
  • Deed Information
  • Legal Descriptions
  • Mailing Lists
  • Maps
  • Paperwork
  • Receipts, Etc.

This same information is sent to all the members of the Planning and Zoning Commission for their review prior to the hearing. Note: All information pertaining to the zoning request is public record and is available for review upon request, as required by law. At the hearing the chairman will open the hearing and have the Administrator read the legal notice and any written comments received for or against the zoning request.

Presentation to the Commission

The applicant will present his request to the Commission along with visuals showing the size and location of the proposal along with a narrative showing conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, and the effects, if any, this proposal would have on the neighborhood, and what the applicant will do to mitigate any adverse effects.


Any person attending the hearing may present their views or concerns with the proposal. Testimony is limited to five minutes and must pertain to the matter at hand. Spokes persons for groups, and the applicant may have ten minutes. Other persons who have more than five minutes of testimony may submit written testimony to the Planning and Zoning office by the Monday, eight days before the meeting. This information will be copied and sent to the Commission members so that they have time to read it before the hearing.

Oral Information

Oral information may be submitted at this time, in the following order: first, those in favor of the proposal, then those who have information but are neutral, then those opposed to the proposal. The applicant is then given the chance to rebut any opposing testimony. After all testimony has been presented and / or heard, the hearing is closed and the Commission may receive no other information. Note: A hearing or decision may be left open or continued for the purposes of obtaining information or reviewing current information received.

Decision Making

The Commission members at this time can discuss the matter and question the applicant before arriving at a decision. A motion is made to recommend to the County Commissioners to accept or deny the request. A second is made and a vote is taken, A majority vote of those members present determines the outcome. Note: A motion may die for lack of a second, The chairman of the Commission does not vote unless there is a tie vote.


The recommendation is later presented to the County Commission by the Administrator with "findings of fact" or a "reasoned statement" explaining how they arrived at their recommendation.


The County Commission must hold a hearing on:

  • Ordinances Changes
  • Rezones

The County Commission may hold a hearing on:

  • Development Agreements
  • Special Use Permits
  • Variances

No Provisions

There is no provision for a County Commissioner hearing on Subdivisions, however the County Commission has the option to approve, or deny a plat, or send a plat back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for revision.


The Washington County Planning and Zoning Commission is a group of volunteer individuals who serve as an advisory board to the County Commissioners. They serve the overall public and make their decisions based on the best interests of the citizens of Washington County within the confines of the law.

More Information

For more information on hearings and planning, contact your local Planning and Zoning Department located at:
256 E Court Street
Weiser, ID 83672
Phone: 208-414-3631