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Thread: Fragmented planning department

  1. #1
    Member
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    Fragmented planning department

    This thread may have come up before, but I will post anyways.

    Is it common for long range planning goals to be compromised where current and long range planners work for seperate divisions? I work for a juridiction where many of our long range planners have never touched a land use permit, yet they are responsible for drafting the policys that development must conform to.

    In your experiences, does it even matter if long range and current planners work under one division? What are the pros and cons of having them work together?

    My jurisdiction used to have a single planning department, but in the early 90's, the city manager decided to divide it as a way to better serve our 'customers' (public), with current planners working closer with engineers and inspectors while long range planners work closer with economic development, arts, and neighborhood organizing groups.

    Any feedback is good. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    At my current position, we are in the same situation as you are. Planning (long-range) and zoning are in separate divisions of the same Agency. We work together on some projects and both attend Planning Commission hearings, but have overall separate missions and tasks. To be honest with you, that is the reason I took this job. I prefer being able to keep my head in the clouds, eeerrr in the future, as a current focus for my profession.

    I have also worked in a situation where planning and zoning were combined in an single department and inevitably, the daily tasks of current planning always distracted the staff from being able to focus on the long-term projects. If the jurisdiction want to produce work (studies, white papers, etc) in house, then it is important for the two areas to be separated.
    Satellite City Enabler

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    CUrrent & long are in seperate divisions for us, but we come together for weekly development review meetings to make sure we aren't undercutting each other.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Not here.
    We do not have current or long range nor city or county divisions.

  5. #5
         
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    I once worked for a county where the two divisions were located about 3 blocks apart physically and miles apart in attitude. The split started to hurt the work environment. It got to a point that we started having some of the long-range planners worked on rezone applications since they wrote the policies and the current planners were having a hard time understanding the intent and the multiple layers of applicable plans.

    I think is good for planners to have cross-training and projects in both areas. Current planners can add a lot of insight into implementation and how certain policies will be accepted by the development community. Good long-range planners have experience with current planning. And its good to have them in the same building and better yet on the same floor.

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I have yet to be someplace that is large enough to have separate long range and current planners. Currently, the Deputy Director is bascially the long range planner for the department (did the recent downtown masterplan, creates/manages the TIFs, etc.), and the rest of us are essentially current planners, except the housing planner and business/development coordinator (ie economic development).

    But we do get to have alot of input and assistance during the long range things, though it would be nice if we had someone strictly devoted to constant long range planning. Our current zoning code is a shambles and needs a total body transplant.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

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