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Thread: How to measure ethics in the discretionary power of planners?

  1. #1
    Member
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    How to measure ethics in the discretionary power of planners?

    Friedman and Forester say that planners should interact and negotiate with developers and facilitate development. To do this planners have to compromise or use their discretionary power. Reade 1987 suspects on the negotiation between the developer and planner "behind the scene". He doubts that rather than following the town norms and codes, Reade asks what they really do in private.

    The real question here is how to measure ethics (hidden interest) of planners in a negotiated deal with the developer? If not then how we can ensure that public interest is protected by the planner?

    Moderator note:


    (Gedunker) Moved from Introduce Yourself subforum.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 01 Mar 2009 at 12:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Welcome.

    My so-called "hidden interest" is to get the development accomplished within the perameters of the master plan and the development codes. Any negotiation that I make is fully disclosed to the planning commission during their review of the proposal.

    For items that do not go to the commission I often give the developer alternative means to meet the code requirements. I would neither call this discretion nor compromise.

    The public interest is protected through the planning commission and the governing body who have the final review and approval for most all projects. I have seen my share of squirrely things done: and they have been done by going around planning.

  3. #3
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The theory that planners cut deals with developers in smoked filled rooms in back allies that are inconsistent with comprehensive plans and zoning regulations is a myth. In my experience, the work we perform is transparent to the public regulated by legislation such as the Brown Act in California and the Sunshine Law in Florida. I'm sure most, if not all, states have similar rules.

    Sorry to burst that bubble.

    Welcome from the Florida panhandle.


    Edit: Every opinion I give and every decision I make is appealable to a higher authority. Contrary to what the public believes, the fact is, I have very little discretionary authority.

    Where do these people get these ideas?
    Last edited by Richmond Jake; 01 Mar 2009 at 7:42 AM. Reason: just because

  4. #4
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    As much as planners try to protect the public interest I have seen plenty of developers who couldn't care less and go crying to the elected officials when the planners and other departments won't let them do what they want. I have also seen councils who overturn Planning Commission recommendations.

    Welcome from the triangle!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I agree with the others. The extent of our "negotiation" is often no more than working with the developer to ensure the correct procedures are followed, to recommend details such as access, building elevations, landscaping, etc., and to offer insight concerning where the plan commission usually focuses its attention. Most projects are generally permitted by right, and it is only a question of working out the details. The issue becomes more complicated only when there is a significant action contemplated that is inconsistent with the zoning or prior planning. In those cases, public hearings and other meetings are almost always required. We planners may offer input or even make recommendations, but we do not make the decisions.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Dan Staley's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Every opinion I give and every decision I make is appealable to a higher authority. Contrary to what the public believes, the fact is, I have very little discretionary authority.

    Where do these people get these ideas?
    Bing-OOOooooo.

    Welcome to the forum and to voices on the ground.

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