The Planning Commissioners Guide

New Edition

By C. Gregory Dale, Benjamin Herman, Anne McBride

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Across the country, communities rely on their planning commissions for guidance. But who guides the planning commissioners?

This step-by-step guidebook gets new commissioners off on the right foot and helps experienced commission members navigate their roles. The authors, all practicing planners, have worked extensively with planning commissions for decades. They have watched commissioners s...

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Paperback $29.95


Product Details

Page Count
160
Date Published
March 1, 2013
ISBN
978-1-611900-61-3
Format
Paperback
Publisher
APA Planners Press

About the Authors

C. Gregory Dale

Benjamin Herman

Anne McBride

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: Roles and Responsibilities of the Planning Commissioner
Introduction
Long Range Planning - Imagining the Future
Development Review
Planning Commission Authority
Staff Roles
Governing Body (Elected Officials)
Legal Counsel
Board of Adjustment
Advisory Boards and Commissions
Service Providers
Advocacy Groups
Applicant/Applicant Representatives
Conclusion

Chapter 2: The Planning Commissioner's Role in Long-Range Planning
Introduction
Why Do We Plan?
What are we Hoping to Accomplish When We Plan?
The Comprehensive Plan
Introduction
How a Comprehensive Plan Should Be Used
Preparing the Plan
Your Role as a Planning Commissioner in the Planning Process
Other Types of Plans
Sustainability and Comprehensive Plans
Conclusion

Chapter 3: Preparing for your Role as a Planning Commissioner
Introduction
Expectations
What is Expected of You as a Commissioner?
What You Should Expect From Staff
What Should Be Expected From the Applicant
How to Prepare to be a Commissioner
Meet the Staff
Obtain and Review Relevant Documents
Get to Know How the Commission Functions
How to Prepare for Your First Planning Commission Meeting

Chapter 4: Information Available to the Commission
Introduction
General Planning and Zoning Information
Commission Bylaws Robert's Rules of Order
Zoning Ordinance
Zoning Map
Comprehensive Plan
Corridor/Focus Area Plans
Thoroughfare Plans
Design Standards and Guidelines
Subdivision Regulations
Development Application Information
Applicant Information
Staff Information
Public Comment
Conclusion

Chapter 5: Plan Review
Introduction
Development Application Package
Existing Conditions Plan
Site Plan
Grading Plan
Utilities Plan
Stormwater Management and Sedimentation Control Plan
Landscape Plan
Lighting Plan
Building Elevations
Sign Plan
Conclusion

Chapter 6: Running Meetings
Introduction
Know Your Job
The Right Space: Room Layout
First Impressions: Hand Outs and Sign-In Sheet
Meeting Leadership: The Role of the Chairperson
Getting Off on the Right Foot: Opening the Meeting
Image and Impression: Comportment and Attentiveness
Two Stages of a Meeting: Fact Finding and Deliberation
Conclusion

Chapter 7: Decision-Making Principles
Introduction
Why is this Important?
Due Process For Planning Commissioners
Notice
Opportunity to be Heard
Full Disclosure
Unbiased Decisions
Timely Decisions
Findings of Fact
Conclusion

Chapter 8: Ethics
Introduction
The Ethical Principles
American Planning Association Statement of Ethical Principles in Planning
Applying the Principles — Scenarios
Conflicts of Interest
Ex-Parte Contacts
Fair Processes and Procedures
Personal Biases and Their Ethical Implications
Behind the Scenes Advocacy
The Credibility of Information
Giving and Receiving Gifts
A Commission's Approach to Dealing with "Notorious" Applicants
Practicing as an Independent and Informed Member of the Commission
Site Visits
Making Your Opinion Known as an Individual — What Are the Boundaries?
Conclusion

Glossary