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Chesterfield Planning Commission Moves From Virtual to In-Person Meetings

Government Complex Sign
Chesterfield County is beginning to reopen many of their government buildings, including the Utilities and Treasurer's office. Officials are also allowing citizens back into the public meeting room. (Photo: Ian Stewart/VPM News)

Live streaming public meetings have become the norm as a way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. But Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting in Chesterfield County will welcome citizens back in-person -- with some caveats.

Chesterfield’s Planning Director Andrew Gillies says he wanted to accommodate the residents who’ve been asking for in-person meetings to happen again. And now with the county reopening public buildings that comply with health and safety guidelines, he feels they can do that. 

But Gillies says between all the county officials and applicants who are there to speak Tuesday, there isn’t enough space for the public.

“By the time we have the commissioner in there, we’ve got the immediate staff, and we’ve got the applicants and we have maybe two chairs left for the media, we’re full,” Gillies said.

Gilles says monitors will be set up in the hallways for people to watch the meeting before they’re called in to speak. 

“Due to spacing and everything else, we’re going to have to just, line them up in the hall and just lead them, let them speak one at a time within the public meeting room. And then once that person is escorted out, we’ll bring one more person in,” said Gillies.

People who want to comment in person will be screened for COVID-19, and required to wear a face mask. 

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. It will still be live-streamed on the county’s website and YouTube channel.