Eagle County on Monday issued the following press release on updates to its public meeting and hearing procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic:
In response to constituent input and Eagle County’s continued desire to provide opportunities for public engagement while managing the COVID-19 pandemic, the county is updating its public meeting and hearing procedures to include additional opportunities for live public comment.
Eagle County will launch a moderated Google Meet format to allow the public to join future meetings and hearings virtually, in addition to attending in person if room capacity allows. Constituents can provide comments remotely through live video, or by telephone to accommodate those without internet access. Eagle County is planning a work session to demonstrate the platform and teach members of the public how it works at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 11. The Google Meet format will go into effect Aug. 19.
“We are all still getting used to interacting with our friends and family, and with public processes like a public hearing through virtual formats,” said Community Development Director Morgan Beryl. “We are encouraging folks to join the work session on Aug. 11 so they can learn how the new system works, as well as help us test and identify potential technological challenges our community members may have.”
The Edwards RiverPark land use application will be the first hearing to utilize the new system on Aug. 19. The county is asking for the public’s patience as staff members work through any issues encountered. Although public comment will be taken at a later meeting, constituents are welcome to sign up to attend the Aug. 5 meeting in person. The form will accept sign-ups for in-person attendance through 4 p.m. on Aug. 3. Room capacity is limited to 28 people to maintain social distancing requirements. A face covering is required and will not be provided by the county. If more than 28 people sign up, no members of the public will be permitted to attend in person, but instead will be asked to watch the hearing remotely. This is done to ensure equal access to all.
Constituents can also sign up to attend and provide in-person public comment for the Edwards RiverPark hearing on Aug. 19. This sign up form will accept names for in-person public comment through 4 p.m. on Aug. 17. The same requirements for in-room capacity will apply. Constituents can also use the new livestream video or telephone option, rather than attending in person. A link to the livestream option will be provided in the planning commission agenda, and located on the Active Land Use Application page on the county website. Additional public comment hearings will be added if needed to accommodate the number of people who desire to provide in-person or virtual live public comment.
Public comment for Edwards RiverPark can also be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or through an online form. The form allows constituents to type comments in the space provided, or upload a file such as a PDF or Microsoft Word document, or upload an up to 3-minute-long recorded video.
Written and recorded video public comment is accepted until the close of public comment; however the county encourages constituents who want to provide written or recorded video comment to do so by noon the day of the hearing to provide time for the commission members to read or watch the submitted comments.
Interested constituents can watch the hearings live or the recording of the hearings on Eagle County Government Television. Recordings are posted to www.ecgtv.com within approximately 24 hours.