Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook Online

Chapter 4: State Planning

This Chapter proposes legislation that establishes various types of state planning agencies, describes their functions, and details different types of state plans and procedures for their adoption and use by state agencies. Some state plans are intended as vehicles simply to formulate policy or create a "vision" for the state. Others have regulatory implications for state and regional agencies and local governments, such as plans for affordable housing. The Chapter includes a model state capital budgeting and capital improvement programming statute, and concludes with a Smart Growth Act based on the Maryland law.

Chapter Outline

State Planning Agency Organization

4-101 [State Planning Agency] (Five Alternatives)
4-102 Functions and Duties of the [State Planning Agency]
4-103 Authority to Adopt Rules, Issue Orders, and Promulgate Guidelines
4-104 Biennial Report

State Plans

4-201 State Futures Commission; Strategic Futures Plan
4-202 State Agency Strategic Plan of Operation
4-203 State Comprehensive Plan
4-204 State Land Development Plan
4-204.1 State Biodiversity Conservation Plan

Functional Plans

4-205 State Transportation Plan
4-206 State Economic Development Plan
4-206.1 State Telecommunications and Information Technology Plan
4-207 State Housing Plan; Housing Advisory Committee; Annual Progress Report
4-208 State Planning for Affordable Housing (Two Alternatives)

Alternative 1 — A Model Balanced and Affordable Housing Act

4-208.1 Findings and Purposes
4-208.2 Intent
4-208.3 Definitions
4-208.4 Creation and Composition of Balanced and Affordable Housing Council
4-208.5 Organization of the Council

Alternative 1A — Strong Council with No Regional Planning Agency Involvement

4-208.6 Functions and Duties of the Council


Alternative 1B — Council and Regional Planning Agency Work in Tandem

4-208.6 Functions and Duties of the Council and [Regional Planning Agencies]
4-208.7 Appointment of Council Executive Director; Hire by Contracts; Purchases and Leases; Maintenance of Public Records

Alternative 1A — Action by Council

4-208.8 Council Designation of Housing Regions; Determination of Present and Prospective Housing Need; Regional Fair-Share Allocations; Adoption of Need Estimates and Allocations


Alternative 1B-Action by Council and Regional Planning Agency

4-208.8 Council Designation of Housing Regions; Determination of Present and Prospective Housing Need; Preparation of Regional Fair-Share Allocation Plan by [Regional Planning Agency]; Adoption of Plan; Review and Approval of Plan by Council
4-208.9 Contents of a Housing Element
4-208.10 Submission of Housing Element to [Council or Regional Planning Agency]
4-208.11 Notice of Submission
4-208.12 Objection to Housing Element; Mediation
4-208.13 [Council or Regional Planning Agency] Review and Approval of Housing Element
4-208.14 Adoption of Changes to Development Regulations After Approval
4-208.15 Quasi-Legislative Review
4-208.16 Appeal to Council of Decision Made by a Local Government Regarding an Inclusionary Development When a Housing Element is not Approved or is not Submitted
4-208.17 Review of Decisions of the Council [and Regional Planning Agency]
4-208.18 Enforcement of Housing Element Requirements
4-208.19 Assistance of Court in Enforcing Orders
4-208.20 Council as Advocate
4-208.21 Designation of Authority; Controls on Affordability of Low- and Moderate- Income Housing
4-208.22 Controls on Resales and Re-rentals of Low- and Moderate-Income Dwelling Units
4-208.23 Enforcement of Deed Restriction
4-208.24 Local Government Right to Purchase, Lease, or Acquire Real Property for Low- and Moderate-Income Housing
4-208.25 Biennial Report of the Council to Governor and Legislature

Alternative 2 — Application for Affordable Housing Development; Affordable Housing Appeals

4-208.1 Findings
4-208.2 Purpose
4-208.3 Definitions
4-208.4 Local Government Action on Affordable Housing Applications
4-208.5 Basis for Approving Authority Determination
4-208.6 Appeal to [State Housing Appeals Board or Court]
4-208.7 Enforcement
4-208.8 Nonresidential Development as Part of an Affordable Housing Development
4-208.9 Overconcentration of Affordable Housing
4-208.10 Housing Appeals Board
4-208.11 Publication of List of Exempt Local Governments
4-208.12 Effective Date

Procedures Related To State Plan Making, Adoption, And Implementation

4-209 Workshops and Public Hearings
4-210 Adoption of Plans (Four Alternatives)
4-211 Certification of Plan; Availability for Sale
4-212 Effect of State Plans on State Agencies; Interagency Coordination (Two Alternatives)
4-213 [Effect of State Plans on Regional and Local Agencies—See Sections 7-402.1 to 7-402.5]
4-214 [Resolution of Conflict Between State, Regional, and Local Plans; Certification — See Sections 7-402.1 to 7-402.5]

State Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program

4-301 Definitions
4-302 Submission of State Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program
4-303 Contents of State Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program
4-304 Participation by and Cooperation of State Agencies

Smart Growth Act

4-401 Smart Growth Act

Table 4-1 Elements of the Civic and Management Models of State Planning
Table 4-2 Types of State Planning Agencies
Table 4-3 Typical State Plans and Their Purposes
Table 4-4 Methods of State Plan Adoption and Their Pros and Cons
Table 4-5 Policy/Plan Context of State Planning Goals

Note 4a — A Note on State Planning Goals

Note 4B — A Note on State Planning Approaches to Promote Affordable Housing

Cross References for Sections in Chapter 4

Section No. Cross-Reference to Section No.

4-101 4-102, 4-104, 4-203, 4-204, 4-204.1, 4-302, 7-402.2
4-102 4-204.1, 4-213, 4-301 et seq., 5-201 et seq., 5-301 et seq., 7-402.2
4-104 4-101

4-202 4-203, 4-303
4-203 4-101, 4-202, 4-209, 4-201, 4-211, 4-302, 4-303, 4-304, 5-103
4-204 4-209, 4-210, 4-211, 5-104, 5-202, 5-204, 6-201.1
4-204.1 4-209, 4-210, 4-211, 5-201
4-205 4-208, 4-209, 4-210, 4-211, 6-204, 7-205
4-206 4-209, 4-210, 4-211, 7-206
4-206.1 4-209, 4-210, 4-211
4-207 4-208, 4-209, 4-210, 4-211, 6-203, 6-602, 7-207
et seq.
Alt. 1 4-207, 6-203, 7-207
4-208.6 4-208.8
4-208.8 4-208.6
4-208.9 4-208.22

Section No. Cross-Reference to Section No.
4-208.14 4-208.16
4-208.18 4-208.9
4-208.19 4-208.17
4-208.22 4-208.9, 4-208.23
et seq.,
Alt. 2 4-207, 6-208, 7-207
4-208.4 4-208.5
4-208.5 4-208.4
4-208.9 4-208.3
4-209 4-203, 4-204, 4-204.1, 4-205, 4-206, 4-207, 4-210, 4-211, 4-212
4-210 4-205, 4-206, 4-207, 5-202
4-211 4-205, 4-206, 4-207
4-212 4-211

4-301 4-302, 4-303, 4-304
4-302 4-203, 4-301, 4-303, 4-304
4-303 4-203, 4-301, 4-304
4-304 4-202, 4-203, 4-301, 4-302, 4-303

4-401 6-201, 6-201.1, 7-201, 7-204, 7-204.1

State Planning

State Planning: Early Years

State planning in the United States has a long history, but one characterized by starts, stops, and attempts at seeking a definition and a role. Early state planning in the twentieth century focused on the creation of state development and conservation departments, whose mission was the management of the states' natural resources. It was not until the Great Depression of the 1930s that state planning received its first strong stimulus from the federal government.

The federal agency that backed state planning was the National Planning Board (NPB), which went under various names during the 1930s. The NPB was first established in 1933 as part of the Federal Public Works Administration, under Interior Department Secretary Harold Ickes. The following year, President Franklin Roosevelt made the board a presidential board by executive order. The NPB underwent a name change in 1935 and became the National Resources Committee (NRC). In 1939, Congress formally created and renamed the board by statute as the National Resources Planning Board (NRPB). The NPRB was formally terminated in 1943, the victim of Congressional hostility and opposition from other federal agencies, most notably the Army Corps of Engineers.[1]

During its existence, the NPB and its successors actively promoted state planning, allotting federal funds to governors who would establish a nonpaid state planning board and a professional to direct its work, sponsor legislation to make the board a continuing agency, and develop a planning program and a long-range public works program for the state. The federal government's support for state planning resulted in an increase in the number of state planning boards from 14 in 1933 to 47 in 1938, with 42 of those having been given a statutory basis.[2] Observed the NRC in a 1938 report:

It is probably generally accurate to say that in one-third of the States, the planning boards have come to be recognized and accepted as an integral part of the governmental structure. In these States the necessity for such an agency has been generally recognized and the planning notion is permeating the State government as a whole. In another third, the planning boards are in a more precarious position. They are less firmly established and less generally accepted. In another third, planning boards are relatively inactive or nonexistent. In general, the planning boards are not likely to be much better or worse than the administrative and political tradition of the State itself.[3]

The approach of these state planning boards was derived from that used in American city planning and their activities mirrored the type of work carried out by city planning commissions, particularly the collection and analysis of data and inventories. The NRC reported in 1938 that the state boards "have engaged in a bewildering variety of activities," including participation in a national inventory of public works and drainage basin work, a recreation survey, and, in some states, highway planning surveys.[4] Boards were also active in stimulating planning by counties and cities through conferences, promotion of legislation, and technical assistance.

A Temporary Demise

The NRPB's demise and the shifting of the nation's attention to World War II also resulted in the phasing out of the state planning boards in most parts of the nation, although continuing state planning activities remained in some states, especially Maryland, Tennessee, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. The reason for the phase-out was that state planning, as it was constituted in the 1930s and early 40s, "belonged neither to the [g]overnor nor to the legislature, and, as the new boy on the block, in an outgoing and established state bureaucracy, it appeared to be a threat to the established state machinery."[5] In short, it was outside of the political mainstream and had no strong political constituency. Moreover, state planning had no overall doctrine or philosophy to justify its existence. The activities of many of the state boards — inventorying and data collection — were a "catch all or miscellany of jobs [with] no clear or integrative purpose."[6]


State planning underwent a resurgence beginning in the late 1950s and continuing into the 1960s and 1970s. The leader of the movement was Hawaii. While still a territory, Hawaii in 1958 enacted legislation establishing a state planning office under the governor and then published a general plan for the state in 1961. Its efforts led to state-level zoning that divided the state into watershed and conservation areas, agricultural lands, and land for urbanization. California prepared a state development plan in 1962 using state funds and federal planning assistance monies. Under an office of regional development in Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller's office, the State of New York, also influenced by the Hawaii initiative, produced a state development policy report in 1964, under the title Change/Challenge/Response.[7] In 1971, the New York office of planning coordination released Phase I of the New York State Development Plan. The plan:

contained a series of regional maps detailing projected settlement and land use patterns, urging that they not be used as regional plans, but rather that they provide objectives or guidelines for the development of plans by existing regional planning groups. In further support of region-wide planning, the document recommended that counties be authorized to adopt regulations dividing the county into development districts (e.g., urban, agricultural, recreation, conservation), and to prescribe development intensity and population density within each district. At the same time the Development Plan was touting regionalized planning efforts, it also called for broader local control and the authorization of flexible and innovative zoning techniques for cities, towns, and villages.[8]

The New York State Development Plan was a remarkably sophisticated and detailed document and one well ahead of its time. However, the plan produced a great deal of controversy, apparently over its lack of citizen outreach and involvement in its preparation. Ultimately, the office of planning coordination underwent a name change and its authority was limited to technical assistance, not functional planning.[9]

Other states, prompted by the availability of federal planning monies, began to create their own new planning organizations. By 1968, new state planning legislation had been adopted by Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.[10]

The passage of the federal Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968[11] greatly enhanced state planning. Title IV of the act was implemented through Office of Management and Budget Circular A-95 and gave states and regional planning organizations the ability to review and comment on applications for federal funds and their relationship to state and regional plans, goals, and policies.[12]

Beginning in the late 1960s and continuing into the 1990s, a number of states initiated growth management programs.[13] These programs were characterized by the development of state goals and, in a number of cases, the preparation of a plan map that showed land uses, environmentally sensitive or critical areas, or areas expected to urbanize. (Recent efforts by these states are described in Table 4-4 and discussed below.) Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island created housing appeals boards to which local decisions regarding proposals for affordable housing could be appealed.[14]

New Directions: Strategic Planning and Budgeting

In the 1970s and 80s, many state planning offices and departments began to be involved in doing research for the governor and cabinet officers, preparing budgets, and developing legislative agendas. This trend was born out by a 1992 report based on a survey and analysis of centralized planning efforts in 37 states conducted by the Virginia Commission on Population Growth and Development. The report noted that eight states:

appear to have created a new planning entity to assist with the formation or creation of the state's long-range, strategic planning effort. For example, Arkansas created a new commission to devise its plan. Both New Jersey and Rhode Island formed two new entities concurrent with the enactment of their strategic planning statutes. Vermont transferred planning authority back to the office of the governor [from a "central planning office"] when it enacted Act 250.[15]

According to the Virginia commission report, six states— Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin — answered that they did not engage in centralized planning at the state level. In these states, planning was accomplished by cabinet departments and executive branch agencies in their fields of expertise.[16] Four other states responded that they did not maintain an office dedicated to centralized planning.[17] The remaining 19 states, noted the Virginia report, "fell somewhere between these two extremes. These states engage to some degree in centralized coordination, but do not have a major planning entity dedicated solely to this purpose."[18] In addition, the study determined that at least five states that engaged in long-range strategic planning — California, Minnesota, Texas, Rhode Island, and Washington — linked their planning efforts to some degree with the budget process.[19] This new direction documented by the Virginia study confirms the a partial shift away from the natural resource- and physically-oriented city planning heritage of state planning and a move toward policy analysis and strategic planning.

Two State Planning Models

Two general approaches in state planning have emerged and pose useful paradigms for drafting legislation (see Table 4-1). One has been called the "civic model" and is derived from the heritage and assumptions of city planning. The second has been termed the "management model" and draws its orientation and techniques from the science of organization management. Under the civic model, the state would engage in a goal-setting process, develop an inventory of resources and an appraisal of existing conditions that affect the ability to achieve those goals, identify a set of alternative actions, and compile a list of implementing measures. The civic model would produce plans affecting land use and critical areas management or addressing functional topics like transportation, water, and economic development. The plans would have regulatory impact and/or affect the programming of infrastructure to support particular growth strategies.

SOURCE: Lynn Muchmore, Concepts of State Planning, State Planning Series 2 (Washington, D.C.: Council of State Planning Agencies, 1977), 14.

While the purpose of the civic model is to identify public goals and large-scale policy choices that will shape the state's future, the purpose of the management model is to ensure that state agencies operate in an efficient and coordinated manner consistent with the priorities of the chief executive. Under the management model, the governor, who is the state's chief executive, implements policies and measures enacted by the state legislature and uses the planning system to exert administrative control over state agencies by establishing operational guidelines and directions for them.[20]

Note that the civic model is more likely to be used for plans that have a physical dimension to them, such as land use. State-supervised land-use planning has been a central concern in many states, as noted above. Five main approaches to state land-use planning programs have been identified, exclusive of those that simply enable planning by local government.

State planning — the state plans and zones land, develops and maintains a statewide land-use plan, and implements the plan through permits and regulations (Hawaii is the only state that comes closest to this model).

State-mandated planning — the state sets mandatory standards, some of which apply to regional agencies and local governments, for those aspects of land use planning and control that involve state interests (e.g., Oregon, Florida).

State-promoted planning — the state sets guidelines for those aspects of planning that involve state interests, establishing incentives for local governments to meet the guidelines (e.g., Georgia).

State review (the"mini-NEPA system") — the state requires environmental impact reports for certain types of development, thus superimposing a second tier of review on the traditional local planning model. The state agency reviews the reports for conformance with state standards. (e.g., California, Washington).

State permitting — the state requires permits for certain types of development, thus preempting local review and permitting for those types of development. (e.g., Vermont).[21]

The management model would be more likely to employ a strategic planning approach through which a state agency or agencies would develop strategic plans that would cut across state agency functions and activities. Legislation to accomplish this was proposed by the Virginia Commission on Population Growth and Development but was never enacted.[22]

Economic development and transportation plans assume this strategic dimension when they focus less on establishing policies and guidelines for the location of new and rehabilitated facilities and more on the overall objectives and direction of programs and the operational capabilities of state agencies to carry them out.

The state's planning agency should be an independent agency rather than an office or division within a larger agency.[23] This independence calls for long-term funding, authority to coordinate state agency programs, and interagency linkages.

The state planning agency will need strong linkages to other state agencies that deal with both natural resources and development. But locating the agency within a broader natural resources department poses some significant problems. To do so "may hinder the agency's efforts to deal with vital development issues such as affordable housing or public facility planning."[24] Similarly, a state planning agency should not be placed within an economic development department because of the potential conflict between economic development and resource protection issues.[25]

The model statutes that follow describe five different types of state planning agencies, their functions, powers, and duties, and the type of plans they may prepare. The statutes are also linked to model legislation contained elsewhere in the Legislative Guidebook.

It should be emphasized that while state planning systems are usually created by legislation, they do not necessarily mature and come into their own as mechanisms of government overnight. As the commentary above noted, state planning has ebbed and flowed for decades in the U.S. The more highly developed state-backed programs, such as Oregon and Florida, have had the benefit of 10 to 20 years of experience. Moreover, effectiveness of such organizations requires commitment from the governor and the state legislature, even-handed internal management, adequate staffing and other resources, and a willingness to adjust the system as the political, economic, and social environment changes. At its best, as in Oregon, state-mandated, but locally-administered land-use planning results in widely held values about what is important to the citizens of the state. Consensus on and commitment to such goals only occur over the long term. The model legislation below is a framework that may enable such a process to occur. Regardless of what approach and agency the state uses, however, it is important for a state to set goals for itself and to follow up on those goals to see whether they are being implemented.

State Planning Agency Organization

Commentary: Types of State Planning Agencies

The alternative types of state planning agencies include the following (see Table 4-2 above):

1. A state planning office in the office of the governor, one whose primary activity would be to advise the governor on policy initiatives and coordinate activities of various state agencies. For example, California has an Office of Policy Development and Research, and Maryland has an Office of State Planning.

2. A line department whose function is planning. The department, responsible to the governor or to a state planning commission, would also be chiefly responsible for the preparation of certain state plans, as described in the statute and would assist other state departments that have responsibility for functional plans, such as a state department of transportation. If the legislation so provides, the department would carry out a variety of routine activities (it is this line function that distinguishes it from a planning office), such as the issuance of permits, the review of local plans, and the maintenance of geographic information systems.

3. A state planning commission. The concept of a state planning commission, an appointed body responsible for all state planning, dates back to the 1930s, as a response to the federally established National Planning Board which urged governors to create and staff such boards.[26] The early planning boards, in states like Maryland and Pennsylvania, focused on rural and resource-related problems, reflecting state planning's conservation lineage.[27] A number of states still have state planning commissions. Maryland, for example, recast its state planning commission in 1992 as the "Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Commission," and gave the commission a number of responsibilities, including the preparation of an annual report to the governor and general assembly on the achievement of state planning goals.[28] New Jersey's State Planning Commission is responsible for overseeing the preparation of the state development and redevelopment plan.[29] Oregon's Land Conservation and Development Commission oversees the state-mandated local land use planning program, adopts statewide planning goals, and reviews local comprehensive plans for compliance with those goals.[30] Where a state does not have a strong tradition of statewide planning and requires an independent body to initiate and gain support for a new program, a state planning commission is a helpful mechanism. Moreover, because the commission will continue through different administrations, it can establish a presence and continuity for planning in the state.

4. I pulls together key departments whose activities have an impact on planning and land use, enabling a governor to speak with a single voice on critical growth and development issues in the state. A secondary purpose of the committee is to resolve disputes among state departments on the siting of state and regional public facilities. Under the Delaware state planning act,[31] the governor has created such a council, composed of departments of transportation, agriculture, economic development, budget, natural resources, and environmental control into a cabinet committee on state planning issues.

5. O. Some states have departments of development that may also go under the name of department of community affairs or department of commerce.[32] One typical activity of such departments is encouraging economic development through loans and grants, tourism promotion, technical assistance, and aid to firms seeking to locate in the state. Typically, a division of planning is located in a department that may have some of the planning functions (e.g., technical assistance, education, data collection and analysis). However, such departments often subordinate planning considerations to those of economic development; if the agency head is drawn from the economic development field, then the department may have an economic development outlook. This is a factor that should be carefully weighed in deciding where to place the planning function in state government.

6. A department of the environment. Under this type of agency, the planning function would be a division within a larger department that has environmental or natural resources focus. An example from Britain is the English Department of the Environment (DoE), which combines housing, land-use regulation, and environmental control.[33]

There is no model legislation proposed in this Chapter to establish a department of environment with a planning function within it. The practice of creating environmental "superdepartments" that combine environmental protection and natural resource management — a regulatory and service provision focus — has been criticized in the planning literature because of the conflicting internal goals of such agencies and the swings in the policy preferences of the department heads.[34]

The legislative models that follow do not describe the internal organizational structure of the state planning agency. If a state legislature wants a certain area to have a specific institutional emphasis, it can enact a statute that creates divisions within the state planning agency. For example, if the state legislature wanted to ensure that a function of the state planning agency would be to assist the public in obtaining permits from state and local agencies, it could create (as California has done) an office of permit assistance.[35] Similarly, if the legislature decided to emphasize education and training, it could create a special division or even set up an institute for that purpose.[36]

The legislative model establishing a planning division (Section 4-101, Alternative 5) has been drafted to be inserted into a statute establishing a development department. It refers to other statutory sections, which would have to be modified to reflect the division's functions and duties, including planning responsibility. No attempt has been made to describe the functioning of a department of development (which, as noted above, may go by different names).

Note: The term "state planning agency" is shown in brackets. The actual name of the agency should be substituted (e.g., the state planning office).

4-101 [State Planning Agency] (Five Alternatives)

Alternative 1 — State Planning Office

(1) There is established an office of state planning within the office of the governor. The office of state planning shall be under the direct control of the director of the state planning office, who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor. [The director shall have at least a combination of [6] years of undergraduate or graduate education in planning and professional planning experience.]

(2) The director of the state planning office shall perform all functions and duties as identified in Section [4-102], exercise all powers, assume and discharge all responsibilities, and carry out and achieve all purposes vested by law in the office, including contracting for professional or consultant services in connection with the office.

(3) The director of the office of state planning is authorized to organize the office into such divisions and units as will best carry out the functions and duties of the office.

Alternative 2 — State Planning Department

(1) There is established a state planning department.

(2) The head of the state planning department shall be the director of the state planning department. The director shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the [governor or the state planning commission]. [The director shall have at least a combination of [6] years of undergraduate or graduate education in planning and professional planning experience.]

• For the state planning office, the state planning department, and the planning division, the model legislation provides optional language establishing a minimum combination of six years of undergraduate or graduate education in planning and professional experience in planning for the director or deputy director. This experience and education requirement is similar to that required to become a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the professional testing and credentialing affiliate within the American Planning Association. While such qualifications may not always be necessary, they may become important when the director is expected to have both a high degree of administrative skill and technical knowledge.

(3) The following units within the department of state planning are established: [List divisions within the department].

(4) The director shall appoint the division heads, who shall serve at the director's pleasure.

(5) The director shall have the following duties:

(a) be the administrative head of the department;

(b) oversee the activities of the department in its functions and duties as identified in Section [4-102];

(c) appoint, reappoint, assign, or reassign all subordinate officers and employees of the department, prescribe their duties, and fix their compensation subject to the [cite to state personnel relations law];

(d) represent the state before any agency of the State or the United States with respect to any matter in connection with the functions and duties of the department as identified in Section [4-102]; and

(e) provide clerical and support services for [advisory committees and/or the state planning commission].

Alternative 3 — State Planning Commission; Creation; Powers

• The State Planning Commission may be created along with a state planning office, department, cabinet coordinating committee, or a planning division within a development department.

(1) There is established [in the [state planning agency] or in the office of the governor] a state planning commission to consist of [15] members to be appointed as follows:

(a) [5] directors of [the following] state departments: [list specific departments to be represented]. A director serving on the commission shall not be represented by an official designee. All state department directors, or designees, shall be entitled to receive notice of and attend meetings of the commission and, upon request, receive all official documents of the commission;

(b) [4] persons [, not more than [2] of whom shall be members of the same political party,] who shall represent [county and municipal] governments, to be appointed by the governor [with the advice and consent of the senate][37] for terms of [4] years and until their respective successors are appointed and qualified, except that the first [4] appointments shall be for terms of [1, 2, 3, and 4] years, respectively. [In making these appointments, the governor shall give consideration to recommendations of the state association of counties, the state municipal league, the state association of planners or planning officials, the state association of regional planning agencies, etc.]

(c) [6] public members [, not more than [3] of whom shall be of the same political party,] to be appointed by the governor [with the advice and consent of the senate] for terms of [4] years and until their respective successors are appointed and qualified, except that for the first [6] appointments, [1] shall be for a term of [1] year, [1] for a term of [2] years, [2] for a term of [3] years, and [2] for a term of [4] years.

(2) The governor shall appoint a successor before the expiration of the term of a commissioner who is a representative of county and municipal government or a public member. No commissioner who is a representative of county or municipal government or a public member shall serve more than [2] full terms as a member of the commission. If there is a vacancy for any cause, the governor shall make an appointment that shall become effective immediately for the unexpired term.

(3) The commission shall meet for the purpose of organization as soon as practicable after the appointment of its members. The governor shall select a chair, who shall serve at the pleasure of the governor, from among the public members [Alternate: The commission shall annually select a chair from among the public members], and the members of the commission shall annually select a vice-chair from among the representatives of the public, or the county or municipal representatives. [Eight] members of the commission shall constitute a quorum, and no matter requiring action by the full commission shall be undertaken except upon the affirmative vote of not less than [8] members. The commission shall meet at the call of its chair or upon the written request of at least [8] members. All meetings of the commission shall be open to the public [or All meetings of the commission shall comply with the state open meetings law as provided in Section [cite to state public meetings statute]. Members of the commission are entitled to compensation as provided in [cite to applicable state statute].

(4) The commission shall:

(a) prepare and adopt within [36] months after the enactment of this Act, and review every [2] years, and propose amendments to, as necessary, the [state comprehensive plan, state development plan, state biodiversity conservation plan, and other state plans], pursuant to Sections [4-203], [4-204], and [4-204.1];

(b) develop and promote procedures to facilitate cooperation and coordination among state, regional and local agencies with regard to the development and implementation of plans, programs, and policies that affect land use, infrastructure, environmental, housing, capital improvement programming, natural hazard mitigation, and economic development issues;

(c) prepare a biennial report pursuant to Section [4-104];

(d) ensure widespread citizen involvement in all phases of its work;

The following functions are optional.

[(e) review and approve regional and local comprehensive plans pursuant to Section [7-402.2]];

[(f) review, at the request of the governor, the proposed state capital budget and capital improvement program developed pursuant to Section [4-302(1)]];

[(g) assist in the development and preparation of model planning ordinances to guide state and regional agencies, counties, municipalities, and special districts in implementing the state comprehensive plan, state land development plan, and state biodiversity conservation plan;

[(h) prepare statewide planning guidelines;]

[(i) review and recommend to the [director of the state planning agency] the designation of areas of critical state concern pursuant to Section [6-201 et seq.;] and

[(j) sponsor, in conjunction with the [state planning agency], education and training programs in planning and related topics for employees of state, regional, and local agencies and for elected and appointed officials.]

Alternative 4 — Cabinet Coordinating Committee

(1) A Cabinet Coordinating Committee on State Planning is established and shall serve in an advisory capacity to the governor. The committee shall be composed of the following members, none of whom shall be represented by an official designee:[38]

(a) [the director of the department of transportation];

(b) [the director of the department of agriculture];

(c) [the director of the [department of development or equivalent agency]];

(d) [the director of the department [of administration or finance]];

(e) [the director of the department of the environment];

(f) [the director of the department of emergency services]; and

(g) such other members as the governor may designate.

(2) The governor shall designate one member to serve as chair of the committee.

(3) The committee shall consider and periodically report to the governor on matters related to the orderly growth, development, and redevelopment of the state and the means of coordination among state departments to achieve those ends. These matters shall include, but shall not be limited to:

(a) the management and prudent use of the state's resources, including land, water, air, forest, historic, and scenic resources, wildlife, and energy;

(b) the efficient and productive utilization of water resources, including watershed management, maintenance of water quality;

(c) the reduction or elimination of long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards;

(d) the location and balanced utilization of and need for airport, highway, public transportation, and bicycle facilities;

(e) the location and need for sewage, wastewater treatment, solid waste disposal, and electrical generating facilities;

(f) the development and location of commerce and industry;

(g) the location of and need for state office buildings, colleges and universities, health, welfare, and correctional institutions, and other state facilities;

(h) the development and location of housing, and the availability of such housing for low- and moderate-income households;

(i) the preservation and efficient utilization of prime agricultural lands;

(j) the preservation of historic and scenic resources; and

(k) mechanisms of cooperation between and among state agencies, and among federal agencies, state agencies, regional agencies, and local governments.

(4) The committee shall meet at least [6] times during each calendar year.

(5) On [date] of each year, the committee shall prepare and submit to the governor an annual report of its activities, together with the recommendations for legislative and/or administrative changes it deems desirable. The governor shall review the annual report, and upon approving it, shall transmit the report to the legislature and shall make the report available to the public. Copies shall be deposited in the state library and shall be sent to all public libraries in the state that serve as depositories for state documents.

(6) The governor [may or shall] appoint a planning coordinator who shall supervise the committee professional and clerical staff. The coordinator shall serve at the pleasure of the governor. The staff shall work in cooperation with all federal, state, regional, and local agencies of government, as well as with private organizations and individuals, to obtain all necessary and relevant information for its assignments. In addition to the committee staff, the committee shall be assisted by staff designated by each participating department or agency.

Alternative 5 — Planning Division within Department of Development

(1) There is established within the [department of development] a division of planning. The division of planning shall be under the supervision of the [deputy director of development for planning], who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the director of development, and who shall coordinate the activities of the division with other activities within the department. [The [deputy director] shall have at a combination of [6] years of undergraduate or graduate education in planning and professional planning experience.]

(2) The division shall perform all functions and duties as set forth in Section [4-102].

(3) The [deputy director of development for planning] is authorized to organize the division of planning into such units as will best carry out the functions and duties of the division.

Commentary: Functions and Duties of the State Planning Agency

In establishing or reconstituting a state planning agency, it is extremely important to evaluate the agency's functions and duties and their relation to the agency's position in state government. Where the agency is located within the state administrative structure and what its duties are have often been the keys to its success. The list of functions of a state planning agency that follows has been intentionally drafted to be broad and inclusive and to have linkages with other sections of the model legislation. In some states, these functions might be spread out over several agencies. For example, geographic information systems might be in one agency and coordination with the U.S. Census Bureau in another.

4-102 Functions and Duties of the [State Planning Agency]

The [state planning agency] shall have the following functions and duties:

(1) Planning. The [state planning agency] shall:

(a) prepare plans for the state pursuant to Sections [4-203, 4-204, 4-204.1, and 4-207 as applicable];

(b) coordinate the plans and programs of all departments, divisions, bureaus, and agencies of state government;

(c) harmonize its planning activities with the planning activities of regional agencies and local governments;

(d) provide technical assistance in planning to regional agencies and local governments;

(e) cooperate with and assist units of the federal government in the execution of their planning functions in order to harmonize their planning activities with the plans for the state;

(f) conduct, as necessary, special studies and undertake research; and

(g) participate in national, interstate, and regional planning programs.

(2) Administration, education, and training. The [state planning agency] shall:

(a) administer federal and state grant-in-aid programs assigned to the [state planning agency] by statute or executive order;

(b) coordinate state programs with the federal government;

(c) engage in a program of public information and communication regarding its activities;

(d) establish and maintain a statewide program to ensure widespread public participation in state-supported planning programs;

(e) provide staff support [and representation on behalf of the governor] to the following commissions and boards pursuant to Sections [cite to applicable Section nos.]: [List commissions and boards];

(f) contract with, as necessary, private or nonprofit organizations for assistance in consensus-building in connection with any activity undertaken by the [state planning agency];

(g) publish annually a compilation of all state laws and administrative rules related to planning;

(h) provide education and training programs in planning and related topics to employees of state, regional, and local agencies and to elected and appointed officials; and

(i) perform such other duties, regardless of function, as the governor may assign.

(3) Information gathering and forecasting. The [state planning agency] shall:

(a) gather, tabulate, analyze, and periodically publish information and reports on the location and pace of development throughout the state, including, but not limited to population, housing, economic, and building permit data;

(b) serve as the state clearinghouse agency responsible for coordinating data collection and data dissemination among the state, regional and other public agencies, local governments, and the private sector;

(c) develop and maintain a computerized geographic information system in support of state, regional, and local planning and management activities;

(d) cooperate with the Bureau of Census and other federal agencies to improve access to the statistical products, data, and information available from the federal government;

(e) annually estimate the resident population for the state and local governments;

(f) prepare, at least twice in each decade, a [20]-year population forecast in [5]-year intervals for the state and local governments; and

(g) promulgate standard procedures for the establishment of accurate, large-scale base mapping to support local government administrative functions, such as tax assessment, public facility management, and engineering.

(4) Implementation. The [state planning agency] shall:

(a) review and approve regional and local comprehensive plans pursuant to Section [7-402.2];

(b) prepare the state capital budget and state capital improvement program pursuant to Section [4-301 et seq.];

(c) administer the areas of critical state concern program pursuant to Section [5-201 et seq.];

(d) administer the development of regional impact program pursuant to Section [5-301 et seq.];

(e) establish, by administrative rule, a process by which any individual or organization may obtain an opinion from the [state planning agency] clarifying the application of any goal, policy, or guideline in the state plans, except that the [agency] shall not issue an opinion regarding any petition that seeks either to validate or invalidate a specific code, ordinance, administrative rule, regulation, or other instrument of plan implementation;[39] and

(f) initiate programs of dispute resolution.

Commentary: Rule-Making Authority

A state planning agency is usually given the authority to promulgate rules and issue orders by statute. The rule-making process often follows a state administrative procedures act that applies to all state agencies.[40] In the absence of a statute establishing a state rule-making process, the process may need to be incorporated into the legislation.

One special aspect of administrative rule making in connection with planning is the need to give advisory information that interprets rules. For example, if a state planning agency is authorized to review and certify local plans for compliance with minimum statutory standards, it will issue rules to explicate what the statutes mean.[41] The agency may also publish guidelines to local governments in the form of sample plan chapters or checklists. However, these guidelines will not have the same force and effect of rules; they will merely indicate different types of alternatives that a local government may wish to pursue and will leave open other options that meet the intent of the rules.[42]

The following section is adapted in part from the American Law Institute's A Model Land Development Code.[43]

4-103 Authority to Adopt Rules, Issue Orders, and Promulgate Guidelines

(1) The [state planning agency] shall have the authority to adopt rules and issue orders concerning any matter within its jurisdiction.

(2) Rules or orders of the [state planning agency], other than rules concerning its internal organization and affairs, shall be adopted or issued in accordance with the procedures of the [state administrative procedures act] for the adoption of rules or regulations or issuance of orders after a hearing.

(3) All rules adopted by the [state planning agency] shall be published in the [I].

(4) The [state planning agency] shall have the authority to prepare and distribute guidelines in the form of sample ordinances, sample regulations, technical reports, and related advisory information for use by regional agencies, local governments, and other interested parties. These guidelines may provide alternative examples that could meet the intent of rules adopted under this Section, but shall not constitute rules themselves.

(5) The [state planning agency] shall not adopt guidelines in lieu of a rule.

Commentary: Biennial Report

The following Section mandates that the state planning agency prepare a biennial report assessing statewide trends, issues, and opportunities. The report could also be used as a vehicle to establish quantitative and qualitative benchmarks or evaluation criteria. In addition, the report could also document measures of progress against those benchmarks. The establishment of a unified statewide geographic information system will help states gather information to gauge the impact of state policies. This information will be helpful in monitoring how well new systems are working and in determining whether there should be midcourse corrections. A biennial, rather than an annual, report is recommended to minimize the administrative burden on the state agency in its preparation.

4-104 Biennial Report

(1) By [date] of each even-numbered year, the director of the [state planning agency] shall prepare a biennial report to the governor. The report shall: analyze demographic, economic, social, and environmental trends affecting the state; discuss the state's progress in achieving goals and policies in adopted state plans; describe activities carried out by the [agency] during the previous [2] years; describe activities carried out by regional agencies and local governments in the state pursuant to this Act during the previous [2] years; recommend proposed changes in state policies and legislation to carry out state, regional, and local plans prepared under this Act; and provide any other analysis, recommendations, and information that the director deems relevant.

(2) Every officer, agency, department, or instrumentality of state government, of regional agencies, and of local government shall comply with any request made by the director for advice, assistance, information, or other material in the preparation of this report.

(3) The director shall send the biennial report in draft form to the governor. The governor shall review the report, and upon approving it, shall transmit the report to the members of the legislature, state agencies, departments, boards and commissions, appropriate federal agencies, and to the chief executive officer of every local government in the state, and shall make the report available to the public. Copies shall be deposited in the state library and shall be sent to all public libraries in the state that serve as depositories for state documents.

State Plans

State plans fall into at least the following categories (see Table 4-3):

(1) Strategic futures plan. These state plans are intended to articulate a "strategic vision" for the state, to identify problems, trends, and opportunities facing the state, and to describe new strategies and programs for achieving that vision. In 1992, Minnesota published such a document, Minnesota Milestones, which contains a "shared vision" for the state as well as a statewide report card of social, economic, and environmental indicators.[44] In 1995, its Environmental Quality Board followed up with Challenges for a Sustainable Minnesota: A Minnesota Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development, a document intended to move the state "toward development that improves people's lives over the long term while sustaining the natural resources future generations will need."[45] The plan identified a series of sustainable development initiatives for the state.

Such plans may be developed by a "state goals" or "futures" commission and will have no binding impact on state operations, although new legislation may be a consequence of recommendations contained in the plans. If a state is initiating state-level planning for the first time, or resuming it after a hiatus, this approach is probably the most appropriate. Several states, including Hawaii and Arkansas, have legislation authorizing a commission to undertake such planning.[46]

(2) Strategic plans of operation. These state plans are intended to guide the operation of state agencies, much in the same sense as private-sector strategic planning. Such plans would have statewide applicability, but only for the activities of a particular agency, although the agency would
be required to conform its mission to applicable statewide goals and policies contained in other plans. Texas, Florida, and Georgia, for example, have such legislation.[47]

(3) State comprehensive plans. These plans provide goals, policies, and objectives for state and other agencies, such as regional agencies and local governments. Such plans are intended to coordinate policy among all levels of government in such areas as economic development, land use, transportation, health, education, public safety, water resources, and intergovernmental relations. Here, the purpose is to infuse plans of other governmental levels with policies that are consistent with those the state desires, presumably to be reflected in their implementation. The plans can be used, for example, to direct state capital budgeting and location decisions. A state planning agency may also evaluate the plans of state and regional agencies and local governments against the goals, objectives, and policies, provided they are sufficiently detailed, and certify them for compliance.

An example of such a plan is the Florida State Comprehensive Plan. This plan was initially adopted in 1985 as part of the major reorganization of Florida's growth management system. The plan consists of a broad range of state goals and implementation policies. It was adopted by the state legislature and appears as Chapter 187 of the Florida Statutes. The plan:

is intended to be a direction-setting document. Its policies may be implemented only to the extent that financial resources are provided pursuant to legislative appropriation or grants or appropriations of any other public or private entities.[48]

A subset of the State Comprehensive Plan is the State Land Development Plan prepared by the Florida Department of Community Affairs.[49] A form of functional plan, it was intended to build upon and detail related land development goals and policies found in the State Comprehensive Plan. The Land Development Plan, which was adopted in 1986 and again in 1989 and which was undergoing revision in 1995, has two purposes:

(1) State agencies are to consider the State Land Development Plan as they prepare their own strategic plans;

(2) The state's regional planning councils must consider the land development plan in preparing their own "strategic regional policy plans." However, in Florida, these regional plans need not be consistent with the state land development plan but must be consistent with the state comprehensive plan.[50]

In Rhode Island, the Division of State Planning of the Rhode Island Department of Administration has prepared a State Guide Plan under the direction of the State Planning Council to provide a foundation for reviewing other plans and proposals for consistency. The State Guide Plan is "mandated by law as a means for centralizing and integrating long-range goals, policies, and plans with short-range project plans and with implementation programs prepared on a decentralized basis by the agency or agencies responsible in each functional area."[51] The State Guide Plan is used by the Division of Planning to review local plans for consistency with growth management acts. It is not a single document but rather a collection of elements that have been adopted since the 1960s. The plan consists simply of a series of goals, policies, issues to be addressed, and strategies for a variety of functional elements; the State Guide Plan Overview provides a summary of the adopted elements under a single cover.

In Maryland, the Planning Act of 1992 requires all local governments to implement through their comprehensive plans a series of seven "visions" — the State's "Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Policy" — set forth in the Act.[52] It also lists a number of required local plan elements (statement of goals and principles, a land-use element, a community facilities element, a sensitive areas element, and a variety of others).

Some state plans include topics covered in a state comprehensive plan, but also contain a plan map, as a graphic representation of the plan's policies. The plan map may indicate the extent of urbanization of different parts of the state, sensitive areas that the state may wish to protect (e.g., wetlands, archeological and historic sites, prime farmland, and estuaries), and a hierarchy of urban centers. The most thorough multi-faceted state plan with a plan map has been prepared by the New Jersey State Planning Commission, the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan. It is to be used to guide municipal and county master planning, state agency functional planning, and infrastructure investment decisions. The plan is a policy guide and is not intended to be used to formulate codes, ordinances, administrative rules or other regulations. The general plan strategy is to "achieve all state planning goals by coordinating public and private actions to guide future growth into compact forms of development and redevelopment, located to make the most efficient use of infrastructure systems and to support the maintenance of capacities in other systems."[53] The plan's contents, especially the plan map, were subjected to a three-stage negotiated, nonbinding "cross-acceptance" process among the commission, county planning commissions, and local governments in which areas expected to urbanize or develop in a certain fashion were identified as "centers" and surrounding "planning areas."[54]

Connecticut has adopted a state-level Conservation and Development Policies Plan which also contains a plan map. The plan, which is authorized by state legislation,[55] was prepared by the state's Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and was subsequently approved by the legislature. The plan map divides the state into three classes of urban areas, three classes of areas of environmental concern, and two classes of rural areas, with policies applying to each of them. State agencies in Connecticut are required to consider the plan when they undertake agency plans. In addition, agency-prepared plans, when required by state or federal law, are submitted to the OPM in order to be reviewed for plan conformity.[56]

If the cost for a state or federally funded project exceeds $100,000, state agencies must demonstrate consistency with the plan when acquiring, developing, or improving real property, when public transportation facilities or improvements or facilities are acquired, or when any state grant is authorized for those purposes. In addition, the Secretary of the OPM annually submits to the State Bond Commission, prior to the allocation of bond funds for any of those actions, an advisory statement commenting on the extent to which such action conforms with the plan.[57]

Of the different types of state plans, a plan containing a map is the most difficult to achieve on a centralized basis, particularly in a large, urbanized state, because of the amount of information that must be collected, the many actors involved, the individualized determinations on the delineation of the plan's policies to specific areas, and the perception that the plan is the equivalent of statewide zoning.[58] This type of area-specific planning may be more appropriately or practically undertaken at the regional or local level. Still, the existence of a plan map does give a statewide perspective showing, for example, how plans affecting various regions or that affect certain functions, like transportation, fit together.

State Plans

Commentary: State Futures Commission and State Strategic Futures Plan

The following legislative model describes a state futures commission charged with preparing a state strategic futures plan. In contrast to the state planning commission described above, the futures commission has a somewhat broader composition, involving members of the legislature as well as lay citizens. While such a commission could prepare its report and go out of existence, it may be more effective as an ongoing instrument of state government. The futures plan is a vehicle for obtaining statewide consensus on where the state should be heading and what actions should be taken to bridge the gap between the reality of the present and the potential of the future. It may result in proposals to revamp state planning laws or to study the issue of planning statute reform more thoroughly (see Chapter 1 of the Legislative Guidebook). The model legislation imposes few procedural requirements on the commission other than to complete a plan and involve the state's citizens in so doing. It is adapted from the Arkansas and Hawaii statutes.[59]

4-201 State Futures Commission; Strategic Futures Plan

(1) There is established a state futures commission. The commission shall be composed of:

(a) the speaker of the house of representatives;

(b) [4] members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house, with no more than [2] members from the same political party;

(c) the president pro tempore of the senate;

(d) [4] members of the senate, appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate, with no more than [2] members from the same political party; and

(e) [5] residents of the state appointed by the governor, except that no resident appointed by the governor shall be a member of the state legislature.

(2) All nonlegislative appointees shall serve [4] year terms unless they resign or are unable to serve or fail to attend [2] consecutive meetings of the full commission, without providing the chair with a written excuse in advance. When a vacancy occurs on the commission, the chair shall notify the appropriate appointing authority, and the vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Persons appointed to fill vacancies shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term and shall be eligible for reappointment for one [4] year term. In the event that the vacancy arises as a result of a member missing [2] consecutive meetings, the chair shall also notify that member.

(3) The commission shall elect a chair and a vice chair from its nonlegislative members to serve for [2] years.

(4) The commission shall also elect one of its nonlegislative members to serve [2] years with the chair and vice chair as an executive committee.

(5) The commission shall meet at least [twice] each year.

(6) The commission shall, at the recommendation of the executive committee, appoint an executive director. The executive director shall work under the direction and control of the commission. Other members of the staff shall be appointed by and work under the direction of the executive director.

(7) The state futures commission shall prepare a state strategic futures plan. The plan's purpose shall be to articulate a vision of the potentials for the state and its citizens and to identify means for achieving those potentials.

(8) In preparing the state strategic futures plan, the commission shall seek the participation of the citizens of the state and shall hold workshops and/or public hearings, and may utilize other appropriate means to involve the citizenry.

(9) The state strategic futures plan shall contain:

(a) a discussion of economic, demographic, sociological, educational, technological, and related trends affecting the state in urban, suburban, and rural areas;

(b) a discussion of the state's relevant economic, natural, historical, cultural and scenic resources, environmental, transportation, geographic, technological, and related strengths and weaknesses that distinguish the state from other states;

[(c) a discussion of the state's vulnerability to natural hazards and the associated risks to life, property, and state, regional, and local economies;]

(d) a discussion of views and comments from citizens that result from the citizen participation process;

(e) a statement describing a vision for the state and specific goals related to that vision;

(f) detailed strategies and initiatives that will assist the state in achieving that vision, including changes in existing governmental programs and legislation, new governmental programs and legislation, and actions that may be taken by both the private and not-for-profit sectors. The strategies and initiatives may be accompanied by a schedule for implementation; and

(g) a system of measurement to identify the extent to which the vision and the specific goals related to that vision are being accomplished.

(10) The commission shall complete the plan within [18] months after its initial appointment and, upon reviewing and approving it, shall transmit the plan to the governor and the legislature. Thereafter, the commission shall present additional recommendations to the governor and the legislature by [date] of each [even-numbered] year and shall monitor the state's progress state toward accomplishing the vision and goals. While working in concert with other state agencies, the commission shall have the authority to develop and implement systems for measurement and accountability.

(11) In addition to any funds appropriated by the legislature to the commission, the commission may accept funds from any other public or private source.

(12) The commission may contract with any public or private entity or any person to assist it in its efforts.

Commentary: State Agency Strategic Plans of Operation