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Thread: Ethical question: city process on platting

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Ethical question: city process on platting

    I am being told to let a City department, side skirt the development process by not requiring major requirements in the platting process, which the department is not exempt from. It clearing states in the ordinance the process, and they must plat this property. The Dept. says it is "unacceptable"... I believe it is unethical and unacceptable to as a person to blatantly violate the ordinance. Any thoughts? My thoughts are to let the upper mgmt. make this decision, I don't want my name involved with this if that is the route taken. ???

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    I am being told to let a City department, side skirt the development process by not requiring major requirements in the platting process, which the department is not exempt from. It clearing states in the ordinance the process, and they must plat this property. The Dept. says it is "unacceptable"... I believe it is unethical and unacceptable to as a person to blatantly violate the ordinance. Any thoughts? My thoughts are to let the upper mgmt. make this decision, I don't want my name involved with this if that is the route taken. ???
    Not only is it unethical to deliberately skirt around the platting requirements, it is also stupid. When platting requirements are not met, it can lead to major problems in the future, legal questions regarding easements, ROW, ownership, financing and insurance for adjacent property owners, clearing title, blah, blah, blah..... There is a reason for platting, it's not an arbitrary hop -- even for single lot plats. I would hope that upper management understands this. Plus what do you tell the next citizen who argues about platting and they bring up that the city didn't have to meet the requirements.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    It reminds me of the city manager who did not want to have park plans go through the plan commission, or another running battle, where the university claimed its plans were not subject to local review. The second instance at least has some legal merit, but they were intelligent enough to know that submitting their plans was a wise political move. I have to question why this department does not want to have to go through the process. Is there something they are trying to avoid? Going through the back door is not going to help; only give valisity to conspiracy theories. If it is a matter of the time involved, I would think the planning department could expedite a request from another city department.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    what he said...

    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    Not only is it unethical to deliberately skirt around the platting requirements, it is also stupid. When platting requirements are not met, it can lead to major problems in the future, legal questions regarding easements, ROW, ownership, financing and insurance for adjacent property owners, clearing title, blah, blah, blah..... There is a reason for platting, it's not an arbitrary hop -- even for single lot plats. I would hope that upper management understands this. Plus what do you tell the next citizen who argues about platting and they bring up that the city didn't have to meet the requirements.

    I assume platting out there is what we would call in new england a recordable survey - so yeah, it's not giving the person good title not to "plat" (sounds like a bugs bunny cartoon scene, doesn't it?)

    when people complain to me about having a recordable survey approved, I just tell them it's really to protect them as the landowner so that they have good title for conveyance purposes - they grumble, but it's the truth

    so tell that to the powers at be and let them override you if they must and just do a note to self about it in case you get hit for it later

    it won't be the last time this kind of thing happens, unfortunately, right?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Yes it is a time issue, I've been told the process is "NOT acceptable" LOL... We have two steps required in the platting process which occurs prior to submitting a preliminary plat. One of which can be waived by the director upon request, the other can not be. I plan to say I will handle the case under the ordinance, if its handled another way I will request to be removed from the case. I don't think that is asking too much? My direct boss should understand???

    No Luckless, I'm sure it won't be the last time. My major grief with this is what do I tell a developer who comes in and wants to do the same thing??? If I make one person do this, I make everyone do it - under a similar situation. I just don't like it, nor want to be involved with it. Guess I should look at APA for some guidelines, since this dept. is big into the APA.

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    Thread title changed. As Dan has stated repeatedly, Teaser titles are not appropriate outside of the FAC.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Not only unethical it may be illegal under state law. Check your state plat requirements. Are they wanting to skip the platting process or just do a half a$$ job?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    No not skip the platting process entirely, but portions required by ordinance.


    --- NHPlanner --- I have not seen Dan's repeated posts on "Teaser titles", nor do I know what teaser titles are. Sorry if I offended you...

  9. #9
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    --- NHPlanner --- I have not seen Dan's repeated posts on "Teaser titles", nor do I know what teaser titles are. Sorry if I offended you...
    Moderator note:
    You haven't offended me, I'm just doing my job as a moderator.

    From the Board Rules:

    Quote Originally posted by Board Rules
    2.2 Thread titles
    Descriptive thread titles must be used. "Teaser" thread titles outside of the Friday Afternoon Club forum are not permitted.
    Essentially, the thread title outside of the FAC must be descriptive, and not a cryptic one or two word "teaser."
    Examples of Dan's repeated posts:

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...65&postcount=5

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...38&postcount=1

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...6&postcount=14

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...88&postcount=3

    I could continie, but I think I've made the point.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  10. #10
    Planners get told to skirt the requirements all the time. I cannot stand when I get that call from an elected official trying to bend the rules for a friend of theirs or from another department trying to rush something through the system. You can argue against it but if upper management or elected officials want it done that way, there is little you can do. I would e-mail your concerns to those requesting it and print off a copy for your own records...that way when it comes back you have proof that you were on the right side of the issue.

    I am sure that the folks at the AICP exam would disagree with my assessment, but I would rather keep my job than fight some huge battle over ethics.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  11. #11
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    The first thing I would do is let the head of the other department... I'm guessing it's the econ development boys... know your intention to not allow them to skirt the rules. In writing...

    In other words... fair warning. Otherwise, they come back saying they simply asked a question, and you went running to management.

    Then, if they fail to comply, go to the guys up top. Again, in writing...
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Repo Man
    Planners get told to skirt the requirements all the time. I cannot stand when I get that call from an elected official trying to bend the rules for a friend of theirs or from another department trying to rush something through the system.
    I cannot agree more. I am the staff liaison to the City Council, ZBA and Planning Commission. If there is something that I disagree with or feel is unethical, I take it to my supervisor who either signs off for me or asks the "requesting official" to do so. Sometimes (fortunately), that results in the "skirting" to be dropped eventually. Or at least raises the concern of other elected officials to take note and vote against it, recognizing the potential liability or the "opening of the pandora's box."
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. Believe it or not I have been fortunate enough to work under a City Mgr. who has background in planning and as not requested such shady dealings. With this new position I'm not sure that is the case. I think I'll pass it on to upper mgmt. and let them make that decision. Thanks again.

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