Through the years, the Cyburbia Forums regularly receives posts from laypeople asking about planning-related issues that may affect them; variances, special/conditional uses, how a rezoning may affect their property, and so on. Regular Cyburbians are usually great about answering such questions.
I was considering creating a subforum for such questions called "Ask a Planner". While I'm confident that such a forum would be popular, there are some issues:
* Just how enthusiastic would you be about offering the equivalent of free advice? A question every week or so seems fine, based on what's currently posted, but what if it's a question a day?
* There would be the usual disclaimers: don't depend on or make decisions based solely on what's offered here; it's best to consult local authorities for zoning code interpretations, and so on. Disclaimers from similar forums for law, medicine and so on could probably be adapted.
* What types of questions or subjects would be considered on-topic? I'm thinking it should just be limited to laypeople asking about everyday planning and zoning-related issues. Planning 101-type questions that are more general would probably be more appropriate in the other subforums. Also, we would have to look out for people who just want to start an argument or debate with a "damn commie planner", under the guise of what seems like a legitimate question.