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Section 3: Public Meeting(s)

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This section discusses obtaining public input on a project and incorporating that input into the project's design. Input from a public meeting can reveal concerns and issues that are not readily apparent, and give the designer an opportunity to address them during project development. Early coordination with the public aids in the type of environmental review documents that may be needed. At least one public meeting must be held during the drafting of an environmental impact statement (EIS).

Public meetings are less formal than public hearings. See Chapter 3, Section 4 – Conduct public hearing.

This section includes the following tasks listed in chronological order.

20300. Conduct public meeting

20310. Revise design based on public input

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20300: Conduct public meeting

Description. Public meetings provide an opportunity for the public to engage in a free exchange of views and ideas and to raise individual concerns. Public meetings, also called scoping meetings, encourage public involvement in the decision making process. Public meetings may be conducted early in planning and numerous times throughout the project development process.

Public involvement is an essential and required part of the development process for proposed actions. Taking public interest into account provides a balanced approach to the decision making.

Preparation for a public meeting should include advance notification to ensure that the public is made aware of the project planning and development process and to ensure full public involvement.

Use of available advanced modeling technology, including 3-dimensional digital modeling, may increase effective public participation.

Pertinent Project Types.

Responsible Party. Project manager


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  • If the project is within a Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO's) area, include the MPO public involvement requirements. MPO requirements may be different from TxDOT's in areas such as required notification procedures, mailing lists, or number of meetings.
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  • Identify meeting date and location. When selecting a meeting location, ensure the meeting facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.
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  • Prepare exhibits for the meeting, appropriate to the meeting format, providing information:
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  • Use public involvement techniques that target different groups and individuals.
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  • Use one or more outreach methods to inform the public of a public meeting to maximize attendance.
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  • Determine staff requirements.
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  • Prepare presentation speeches, if part of the public meeting.
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  • Conduct meeting.
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  • Prepare responses to public input. Obtain response approval from Advanced Project Development engineer.
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  • Review responses with stakeholders, as needed. Stakeholders may include property owners, resource agencies, local government officials, homeowner's associations, and local business organizations.
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  • Document a summary of the public meeting, comments received, responses to comments, and any modifications to the project as a result of the public comments.
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  • Provide copy of the meeting summary analysis, comments, and response report to the District Engineer and the district environmental coordinator. Maintain original documents in the Project File of Record.

Helpful Suggestions.

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  • Coordinate the planning and conduct of the public meeting with the district public information officer.
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  • Public meetings are an effective method of obtaining public support for a project and may help avoid controversial public hearings later in project development.
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  • On complex projects, holding an “open house” for several hours before the meeting allows the public a better opportunity to understand the proposed improvements and make more meaningful comments.
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  • Use of communication technology over the life of the project (planning to completion) can keep the public informed and notified about planning, construction work progress, upcoming road detours, or closures.
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  • If the project is in an area with a population of limited English proficiency (LEP), develop a language access plan for the population being served.
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  • Although Design Division review and approval of a preliminary schematic is not required before showing a schematic at a public meeting or open house, coordination with the Design Division is suggested for more complex or high profile projects.

Critical Sequencing.

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  • Public meeting(s) shall be conducted during the drafting of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS).



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  • Memorandum of Understanding Between Federal Highway Administration and Texas Department of Transportation Concerning the State of Texas' Participation in the Project Delivery Program Pursuant to 23 USC 327.
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  • Online: Inside TxDOT, Divisions, Environmental Affairs, Environmental Compliance Toolkits - Environmental Handbook Public Involvement
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20310: Revise design based on public input

Description. Preliminary designs may need to be revised after public meetings are held and input is gathered.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects where public involvement is sought.

Responsible Party. Project manager

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