I feel like there is tension building between our economic development division and our planning division here in my municipality. Inherently it boils down to our approach to dealing with private sector applicants, which are diametrically opposed to one another. My perception (as a land use planner) is that the E.D. staff feel like they have to say yes to everything so long as it involves development and an economic benefit (real or perceived). There is quite a bit of deal-making done before applicants have to deal with me and my colleagues in the Planning Division, where no is the operative word most of the time. We're not unreasonable or anti-development by any means; we simply have rules/procedures/plans/regulations that guide us. And we consider design, which is not even on the E.D. radar screen. It irks us when we find out about the "done-deals" and generally hate being considered an afterthought, but we clearly are in most cases.
There are politics involved of course. E.D. is more favored by the administration (no surprise there), and probably more beholden to their wishes. Our planners are politically saavy enough, but we do the unsexy work that the Mayor's office doesn't want to hear about.
My perspective of our situation is that it is probably common in a lot of local governments because planning/political/community objectives are so naturally conflicting by nature. I find it rather fascinating to see it play out at an organization level and deal with it, as frustrating as it can be. I'm wondering about your own organizations and internal politics... do you experience tensions between various divisions? Have you employed strategies to resolve them?