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Thread: Switching to sub-regional planning

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
    Feb 2006
    Heartland of America

    Switching to sub-regional planning

    Our planning position is open, and I have been thinking that perhaps this is the time to look at planning more regionally or perhaps what one would call sub-regionally. Our city is a little above 25,000 but we have two towns of around 5,000 that directly border us and one other smaller town of about 700.

    Do you know of any areas similar who have a single planning entity? How would it work for things like site plan review?

  2. #2
    Jul 2010
    St. Louis, MO

    Joint planning is indeed valuable

    Hawkeye 66,

    I don't know of an example where this has been done in exactly the way you describe. However, I did work in a place that I'd rather not identify where adjacent towns held a series of comprehensive planning workshops together (planning commissions meeting together first, then city councils). They then redid their comp plan future land use maps, with the discussion at least informing the decisions made.

    State law usually limits how and whether any formal joint planning can occur, although more and more states are becoming somewhat more flexible in how planning may be done. Comb through that state law first to see whether there is any legislation that would enable what you want to do. (Many states put their entire codes on-line now, so it's not necessary to get your city attorney to do lots of expensive research.)

    But at the very least, you can try to get some informal consensus by holding joint discussion meetings. These will have to be public meetings under your state's sunshine law, but so what? If there's basic good will among the entities, the meeting will go well. If you're concerned about any disagreements, find a facilitator at a local college or in the business community.

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