Do any of you have experience dealing with economic data in the review of site plans, special land uses, and rezonings?
We have a commission in our municipality that deals with economics. This commission was recently upset by a decision of our planning commission to grant approval for a special land use. This particular special land use was for a use that would remove property from the tax roles. As a result, the planning staff was directed to have this particular economic commission "review and examine the project in areas including, but not limited to: economic impact, economic development benefit, financial strength, real estate maximization, feasibility, and market. Prior to any vote, Plan Commsision should have the benefit of understanding and reviewing the economic impact of each commercial project in municipality X"
In the city ordinance laying out the responsibilties of the plan commission, nowhere does it mention that economic considerations are a part of their site plan duties. The special land use criteria are land use criteria, not economic criteria (except to say that it doesn't reduce property values). I'm having a hard time undestanding how this information is even germaine to the legal decision making process of the plan commission - we've always focused on site plan and zoning issues.
Does anyone else review site plan, special uses, rezonings or otherwise with regard to economic data? I'm not saying that we should ignore economics/market data. I think it's totally appropriate when master planning or creating zoning. However, when this economic commission is reviewing site plans and issuing a recommendation based on market capitalization, I have a really hard time understanding how we can even legally use that information.
What do you think of this dictate? How would you handle this?