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Thread: Zoning practitioner defined

  1. #1

    Zoning practitioner defined

    What is a zoning practitioner? Does such a person exist? Is it a planner in another suit of clothes? Is it a zoning administrator or a zoning compliance/enforcement specialist? Is it a real estate broker who makes zoning changes and obtains variances for clients in order to sell property? Is it an architect who knows zoning codes or a site planner? Is it a commercial site locator? Is a zoning practitioner a "true" zoning expert?

    We are exploring the limits of this definition now. Any advice, suggestions, comments leading to a collective answer would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    I guess it would depend, to some extent, on the purpose for you defining this term. In an official sense, I've never heard of it before. I guess it would be a layperson whose experience and job description would put them in the realm of "experienced" with the process of zoning, without any other type of certification.

  3. #3
    I noticed that someone advertised for a "zoning specialist" (posted today). Could that person be considered a zoning "practitioner?" I'd like to see if others have encountered this term or, if not, would or do they consider others who spend a substantial amount of time in zoning oriented work tasks to be "practitioners." I suspect a zoning administrator could be considered a practitioner--and called that--although I would agree with you that it is not a commonly used term. That's why I asked the original question, to see what others know about this.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Never heard of the phrase either. You could help by telling us in what context the phrase was used.

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    Moderator note:
    I gotta' delete that message -- the forums aren't appropriate places to post ads.

    The ad was from a firm that specializes in wireless site acquisition -- leasing sites from the landlord, and getting them "zoned." A small percentage of wireless zoners are planners, but most are folks with more experience in real estate. Based on personal experience, planners don't do well in wireless -- they still think in terms of serving the "common good," and thus don't have the best interests of their clients at hand.

  6. #6
    To answer your question, I've been using "zoning practitioner" for years and so have some of my fellow planners who specialize in zoning work. I use it in a number of ways, but mostly to make a fine distinction between a person who occasionally makes a zoning change (rezonings, variances, permits) and other persons who spend a substantial part of their consulting practice in this area. That would also include crafting special zoning ordinances for parts of cities to accomplish a particular goal. The scope is, of course, broader that these two tasks, but I think you get the picture from my limited examples. Also included are public managers or administrators of zoning departments at the top, down to zoning technicians who spend their entire time on this special arena.

    I wondered if this distinction and use of the term was widespread but judging from the response receive so far it doesn't seem to be. Or, I can conclude that there is no interest in placing planners and non-planners into a special category. But then again Mike, you can see there was only ONE inquiry. Thanks for your curiosity!

  7. #7
    Member Zoning Gangsta's avatar
    Jun 2003
    Upper left edge
    It looks to me like a way to say "I practice the law of zoning, but I'm not a lawyer."

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