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Thread: Getting information

  1. #1

    Getting information

    In formation is important to all of us. The planners that I've spoken to thus far always seem to know what development is going where, who is interested in what property, etc., before any word of it comes out in the newspapers or other media outlets. So, my question is where do you get your information from? What should a new planner pay attention to? Aside from physically observing a project or occurance, where is the best source of information that allows you to make statements with regard to issues affecting development (i.e. the city's infrastructure is lacking...)? I'm really asking this question so that young planners and student planners will have an idea of where to go to get information that will keep them "ahead of the game." Thank you in advance for your response.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by baseballfanman View post
    where is the best source of information that allows you to make statements with regard to issues affecting development ? I'm really asking this question so that young planners and student planners will have an idea of where to go to get information that will keep them "ahead of the game."
    The reason planners know about projects before they come out in public is because the developers have had several meetings with them and others about various codes and policies. These are generally confidential. The reason they meet before it goes public is because a company doesn't want to spend thousands on plans just to release it and find out the parking, drainage, sprinklers, easements, etc are all wrong and they have to start over. These meetings allow them to get everything "right" before the public announcement.

    The other thing that students lack is the ability to talk with people everyday about upcoming projects. For example, if a developer comes into my office and we're chit-chatting it might come up that so-and-so is thinking about building a new house, or that XYZ business is going out of business and the site is going to become vacant. These are not things you can "look for" but rather by talking with people you just tend to find out information ahead of others.

    It's funny because as a planner I'll hear about a potential business that wants to come to town, I'll get excited and tell my boss (but outside of our office is confidential) and he'll say "oh i knew about that 6 months ago). So even those "in the know" aren't always the first to know.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Because thoughtful developers ask local staff questions before getting permits. Media get their information from permits granted. Preliminary queries are most often confidential.

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Planners typically first learn about new developments while responding to questions. The questions frequently tend to follow certain sequences and depending on how far along the chain the questions get we can gauge how 'real' or likely a future development might be. For example, someone might come to the front counter asking questions about a property that's for sale or even a sizeable undeveloped property that isn't on the market and inquire how its zoned, and what the permitted uses are. A realtor or two may make inquiry the following day asking the very same questions. A potential buyer (say, a local developer) might then begin to ask some more specifically targeted questions related to particular permitted uses - setbacks, parking requirements, drive widths, platting procedures, etc. engineering firms might then ask very specific questions about site plans - how many copies? drainage calcs? Stamped? By the time a development proposal makes its way on to a board or commission's agenda, chances are no one in the planning department is going to be surprised.

    Concerning future land uses/development in a more general sense, a community may try to vector development or redevelopment in a variety of ways. Future land use plans/maps are helpful in this regard, as are capital improvement budgets (e.g. where new infrastructure is going in)

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