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Thread: Administrative support staff for planning activities?

  1. #1
    Member
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    Dec 2007
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    City and County of Denver
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    Administrative support staff for planning activities?

    We're trying to make the case for some administrative support for general planning activities and public meeting logistics. Currently, we've got around 24 planners for a city of just under 600,000 ... and zero dedicated admin support. We're looking for help with managing contact databases/mailing lists, coordinating public noticing, and taking care of logistics for public workshops. These are things that, so far, are just absorbed into our individual work programs. Is this the way it's done in your agency?

    To help us get a sense for how other communities have structured their planning departments, i've put together a quick, and totally unscientific, survey. Can you spare a minute or two to complete this 7-question survey?

    Thanks!

    Moderator note:
    Welcome to Cyburbia, evelyn.b. Please underestand that as a planning forum, our goal is to foster communication betweeen and among planners. An off-site survey won't accomplish that. May I suggest that you post the survey in this thread and our planners will respond to the survey, here in Cyburbia, for all to see. Thanks for understanding.
    ~Gedunker
    Last edited by Gedunker; 19 Dec 2007 at 9:17 AM.

  2. #2
    Member
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    City and County of Denver
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    oh, ok. well my general questions are:

    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated?

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)?

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)?

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)?

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities?

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate?


    Not the most thought provoking planning topic, but i do appreciate any responses... thanks!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by evelyn.b View post
    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated?
    ~40,000. Full time planning staff is three professionals and one adminsitrative support staff. Planning area is slightly larger than 25 sq. ,mi (including extra-territorial planning area)

    [2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)?
    1.5

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)?
    0.5

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)?
    Faster than our staff can handle.

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities?
    One full time and some occasional hours from other city administrative staff as necessary.

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate?
    Not at all. The director really needs his own admin. The remaining staff could use one between them, and I think a floater/part time person would really help. Conversely, a lot of the work we do supports other departments that don't have staff (our board-of-works, for example): by taking that responsibility off us, it'd free up hours for our admin staff.

    Moderator note:
    Thanks for posting the questions, evelyn.b!
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  4. #4
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    New Hampshire
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    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated?
    Approx 25,000

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)?
    Me.

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)?
    Myself, and the department director, 1/2 the time of the GIS Manager/Planner, working with various taskforces, and the Planning Board on a variety of plans and implementation methods.

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)?
    Moderate of late, slow in the residential sector other than age-restricted elderly developments.

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities?
    1

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate?
    Yes, given the size of the community and the pace of current development.
    "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

  5. #5
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve
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    1. +27,000

    2. 1 FTE

    3. 1 FTE

    4. Moderate

    5. Three, including one FTE dedicated to transcribing minutes

    6. Yes
    All these years the people said hes actin like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  6. #6
          Downtown's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by evelyn.b View post
    oh, ok. well my general questions are:

    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated?

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)?

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)?

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)?

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities?

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate?


    Not the most thought provoking planning topic, but i do appreciate any responses... thanks!
    1. 80k
    2 and 3. 1 Planning Aide handling CE and minor commercial approvals (changes in tenant/small additions, etc). 3 Planners handling future planning and major commercial and subdivision approvals.
    4. Moderate
    5. 2
    6. yes

    i am seriously shocked that you have 24 planners and no admin. Who handles the mail? HR stuff? holy moses.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    in a meeting
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    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated?

    5k in winter, 18k in summer, 1 to 3 million visitors a year

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)?

    2 - me and an entry level planner

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)?

    me

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)?

    moderate compared to a metro area

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities?

    1 office assistant (also does Code Enforcement admin), entry level planner does some admin too

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate?

    yes, but when I have an intern for 12 weeks a year, I realize how much better more help would make the department to run if I had one more person

  8. #8
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Metro Detroit
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    6,420
    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated? Township of 23,000+

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)? 1.5

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)? .5

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)? Moderate

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities? .5

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate? Yes.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    In the Peach State
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    921
    Quote Originally posted by evelyn.b View post
    oh, ok. well my general questions are:

    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated?

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)?

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)?

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)?

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities?

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate?


    Not the most thought provoking planning topic, but i do appreciate any responses... thanks!

    1. County population of almost 700,000 people

    2. Zoning - 5 staff members with 2 administrative support personnel. Water system engineers (2), stormwater management engineers (2), and transportation engineers (3) are in separate Departments, but participate in the plan review/zoning review processes. Also, 4 landscape architects/arborists also assist with the plan review process.

    3. Planning - 5 staff members with 1 administrative support personnel
    Transportation Planning - 3 staff members with 2 administrative support personnel they take care of TIP management, transportation grant writing, and multi-use trail master planning.

    4. 1970s - 2000 were super fast growth years. We are now in a moderate growth pattern. It has slowed dramatically due to a lack of available undeveloped land. Our growth pattern has shifted from supporting suburban growth to supporting urban growth.

    5. See comments in items 2 & 3.

    6. administrative support personnel are vital people on our teams. They act as organizers for meetings, office managers, and customer services representatives.
    Satellite City Enabler

  10. #10
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Samsara
    Posts
    5,075
    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated? 70,000

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)? 2

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)? 1

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)? moderate

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities? 2

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate? yes

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,691
    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated? 18K

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)? 2-3

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)? 0 additional

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)? moderate

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities? 2

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate? Yes

  12. #12
         
    Registered
    Oct 2007
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    Way out there
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    175
    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated? 900,000 (planning division is joint city/county)

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)?

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)?

    Our division is not broken down quite like that. We have Comp Planning, which has 6 planners. Land Use has 7 planners. Transportation has 4 planners. Economic Development has 2 planners. Housing has 5 planners.


    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)? moderate

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities? 5

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate? Quantity, yes. Quality is a different story.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2005
    Location
    chaos
    Posts
    873
    1. what is the population of the city with which you are associated?
    60,000 (county)

    2. how many current planners do you have (processing discretionary development permits)?
    4

    3. how many future planners do you have (writing neighborhood plans)?
    0

    4. how would you describe the pace of development in your community (super fast, moderate, sloooooow)?
    Until I got here, it was super fast (no one wants to live near me )

    5. how many administrative staff are employed to support planning activities?
    3, they help in our whole office, too

    6. do you feel like the amount of administrative support you currently have is adequate?
    Yes

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