How to Participate in a Virtual Public Hearing 

Virtual Meeting Format

The virtual public meeting will be conducted using the Zoom Webinar platform. You can participate in a virtual meeting by computer, tablet, or telephone. Participation on Zoom is only required if you are going to make public comments during a public hearing. Otherwise you can view the City Council and Planning Commission meetings live on the City’s Twitter page, Facebook page, YouTube channel, on Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon via Boxcast as well as livestreamed from the City’s website. The meeting will also be televised live on Durham Television Network (Spectrum channel 8, Google Fiber channel 8, Frontier channel 70, and AT&T U-verse channel 99). Board of Adjustment and Historic Preservation Commission meetings can be viewed live on the City’s YouTube channel

Pre-registration Recommended 

For City Council and Planning Commission: It is recommended that anyone wanting to make public comments complete the online registration form (available via the link in mailed or published notices and also in the weekly meeting calendar and on our public hearings and notices web page). After registering for the Zoom virtual meeting, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you pre-register, your comments will be heard first at the public hearing. To ensure that you will be recognized, your Zoom profile name should be the same as your registration name. 

For Board of Adjustment and Historic Preservation Commission: Pre-registration is required for anyone wishing to speak at a quasi-judicial meeting. Registration can be completed using the online form (available via the link in mailed or published notices and also in the weekly meeting calendar and on our public hearings and notices web page) or by calling the designated staff person (listed in those same sources). After registering online, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. After registering via the phone, staff will share with you the phone number to call into the meeting. 

 

Live Call-in Option 

For City Council and Planning Commission meetings, you can also participate by calling in the day of the meeting. Please call in at least 15 minutes before the meeting starts and identify yourself to ensure that you get a chance to speak at the appropriate time. Anyone wishing to call in live to a Board of Adjustment or Historic Preservation Commission meeting must first pre-register.  

Process for Speaking  

In this virtual meeting platform public participants do not have any ability to talk or be seen on video by default. Speakers will be given the ability to speak at the appropriate time in the meeting. 

For City Council and Planning Commission:
  • If you have pre-registered, your name will be called at the appropriate time for you to make your comments, just like in an in-person public hearing. 
  • If you call in before the meeting starts your name will be taken and you will also be called to speak at the appropriate time as normal. 
  • If you call in after the meeting has already started you will need to wait until the particular public hearing you are interested in starts. After all of the pre-registered speakers have shared their comments the person presiding over the meeting will ask if there is anyone else wishing to speak. At that point you will need to digitally raise your hand (see instructions below), state your name and address, and make your public comments. 
For Board of Adjustment and Historic Preservation Commission:
  • Only those that have pre-registered will get the opportunity to speak. If you have pre-registered, your name will be called at the appropriate time for you to make your comments, just like in an in-person public hearing.
  • If you would like to speak on an item and did not pre-register please notify the Planning Department so that the item can be rescheduled and you have an opportunity to register to speak in advance.

Steps to Join the Meeting 

To Join by Computer: 
  1. Click the meeting link you received after pre-registering or open the Zoom app (if you have downloaded it to your computer, tablet or smart phone). 
  2. Join a meeting using one of these methods: 
    • Click Join a Meeting if you want to join without signing in. 
    • Sign in to Zoom then click Join. 
  3. Enter the meeting ID number and your display name. 
    • If you're signed in, change your name if you don't want your default name to appear. 
    • If you're not signed in, enter a display name. 
  4. Select if you would like to connect audio and/or video and click Join.
To Join by Tel

ephone: 

  1. On your phone, dial the teleconferencing number provided for the virtual meeting (available in the weekly meeting calendar).  
  2. Enter the meeting ID number and password when prompted using your dial pad.  
  3. Phone controls for participants: The following commands can be entered using your phone's dial pad while in a Zoom meeting\webinar:
    *6 - Toggle mute/unmute
    *9 - Raise hand