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Thread: Are there more planning positions in the East/NE than other regions?

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    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Are there more planning positions in the East/NE than other regions?

    It seems to me that some small NE towns have planners and that really surprises me. I am talking about towns under 3000 people. In the midwest you have towns that size that run only on a city clerk.

    Is this true? Are the western states like colorado just opposed to planning in general?

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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hawkeye66 View post
    Is this true? Are the western states like colorado just opposed to planning in general?
    Yes

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Hawkeye66 View post
    Are the western states like colorado just opposed to planning in general?
    The major urban areas in the west tend to be fairly progressive with their planning compared to many areas of the country. The smaller towns outside of those urban areas are really hit and miss though.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hawkeye66 View post
    It seems to me that some small NE towns have planners and that really surprises me. I am talking about towns under 3000 people. In the midwest you have towns that size that run only on a city clerk.
    It's not true for every community in the Northeast. In New York, at least upstate, cities and towns with planning departments, or even staff planners, are very uncommon. Where there may be a planning staff, it's usually much smaller than a peer community elsewhere in the country. As I've said before, most large suburbs of Upstate cities don't even have planning departments or staff planners.

    Although New York isn't the kind of state where one would see the "anything goes" philosophy of parts of the West, planning there isn't very progressive. There's a mandatory environmental review process (SEQR). Otherwise, with a few exceptions such as Buffalo's FBC, little has chanced from the 1950s and 1960s. I think others have posted here about how the town meeting process in New England has stifled progressive planning outside of central cities; there's an emphasis on "quaint", but large lot sprawl is far more of a problem there than other parts of the country.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Bureaucracy generally grows with time, this is observable even with older and newer municipalities in my area (max only 170 years or so). So the NE has a head start in that regard. Whether that translates into planner jobs is another matter, but there's probably a decent correlation.

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    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    My own anecdotal observation is that the Sun Belt has more planning positions than we do here in the northeast. The number of open planning positions throughout the ENTIRE northeast is never more than a couple dozen at a time. If that.

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    My own anecdotal observation is that the Sun Belt has more planning positions than we do here in the northeast. The number of open planning positions throughout the ENTIRE northeast is never more than a couple dozen at a time. If that.
    I agree with you that there are usually very few openings in the northeast, but I'm not so sure the sun belt is much better (and probably in no way resembles the same job market it was back in, say, 2004). Things are bad all over, but it looks like the northeast escaped the kind of damage from the housing bubble that states like CA, NV, and FL, all experienced with tons of foreclosures and double-digit unemployment.

    Finding a planning job nowadays ANYWHERE is brutal. I know because I was unemployed for most of last year.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    My sense is that there are more positions, because of home-rule issues, in the NE than in other regions, but, compared to the west, pay in all but the largest municipalities is simply awful. I saw somewhere the CT town planners make an average of one fourth the comparable-seniority private sector salary in that state.

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cismontane View post
    My sense is that there are more positions, because of home-rule issues, in the NE than in other regions, but, compared to the west, pay in all but the largest municipalities is simply awful. I saw somewhere the CT town planners make an average of one fourth the comparable-seniority private sector salary in that state.
    Oh yeah, there's that too

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    Oh yeah, there's that too
    Also, in the NE, some jurisdictions do comp plans that are about 12 pages long and typically have $30,000 budgets to produce them... vs $1,000,000+ for comparably-sized towns in Cali, due to state requirements. I seem to recall that Albany, not a small city, initially had a budget of $100,000 to produce their first comp plan update in decades.. or was it generations?

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cismontane View post
    Also, in the NE, some jurisdictions do comp plans that are about 12 pages long and typically have $30,000 budgets to produce them... vs $1,000,000+ for comparably-sized towns in Cali, due to state requirements. I seem to recall that Albany, not a small city, initially had a budget of $100,000 to produce their first comp plan update in decades.. or was it generations?
    Is that why CA is broke and headed for bankruptcy?

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