August 26, 2011 | 08:55 AMThe Aug. 22 City Council vote that changed the city's Master Plan regarding the Geneva Ridge Joint Venture 710 acres south of Big Foot Beach State Park apparently is null and void.
In order to suspend the rules, move through the first reading of an ordinance, go to the second and adopt it, six positive votes are required. That night, the vote to suspend the rules was 5-4.
That meant the correct process was to go through the first reading and then at the next meeting the second reading and vote typically occurs.
Instead, believing they could vote on the issue and being asked by some of those in the audience to "call the question," the council members voted 5-3 to approve the Master Plan change.
City Attorney Dan Draper said Friday morning that he takes responsibility for the mistake.
"I should have caught it that night," he said.
Now, the City Council will have a special meeting Monday, Aug. 29, at 5 p.m. On the agenda, which was posted Thursday afternoon on the city's website, is the first reading of the ordinance, which changes the property from a long term ex-urban growth area to a planned neighborhood with some areas for commercial development.
Also, according to a 2007 city procedural ordinance, the Comprehensive Plan ordinance change should have been read in its entirety as a first reading.
There is a public comment item on the agenda, which only deals with the Master Plan amendment.
"This is such an important issue," Draper said. "We need to make sure we do this right."
Between an estimated 160 and 175 people attended the Aug. 22 public hearing on the amendment. About 30 people spoke on the issue, almost all against the plan change. The hearing lasted about three hours.
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