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Thread: Anyone gone from urban to rural planning?

  1. #1

    Anyone gone from urban to rural planning?

    I know that a lot of planners go from rural to more urban planning, but was wondering if any have done the opposite? I was a planner working on the approvals, urban design and financial aspects of large greenfield developments (1000 acres +), but recently took a position as a rural planner for a 28% pay increase. I am finding the transition from working in a large urban centre to being a rural planner very challenging and was wondering if anyone has done the same? Previously, I was used to meetings at City Hall, development industry events and a multitude of other events that filled up the day. As a rural planner, I find the work is very different and it is quite isolating and their is much less focus on urban design, political relations and landscape architecture. Curious to here the thoughts of others who made the switch? I'm not sure if the trouble I'm having is the switch from very urban to rural or from private-sector to being a government employee.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    I went from a community of 350,000 to a community of 7,000 (neither particularly rural but very different, just the same) but in my case, it was a slight shift to a different ladder. I think I've learned a lot from the smaller community -- because I'm almost a one-man show, I have to know how to do it all. Before, I was in a department of 7 so it was easier to have blinders on.
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RandomPlanner View post
    I went from a community of 350,000 to a community of 7,000 (neither particularly rural but very different, just the same) but in my case, it was a slight shift to a different ladder. I think I've learned a lot from the smaller community -- because I'm almost a one-man show, I have to know how to do it all. Before, I was in a department of 7 so it was easier to have blinders on.
    I think you nailed the biggest change from big to small places. I went from a department of 8 (cut to 4) and did a great job with site plans and plats and stuff. Now I have myself and an assistant. She does permit and I get all the code enforcement, floodplain management, economic development, and the list goes on. It's also a change from just reviewing a plat for approval to knowing and advising every step of the process down to knowing the recorder's fees. I've learned a lot about paying taxes, sheriff auctions when you don't pay your taxes, property appraisal, and the things all those other county departments do. Maybe some of that is moving from a city to a county, but it's all good things to learn.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    In Charles Kuralt's book "On the Road" he was asked why he lived in NYC, yet spent most of his career discovering and reporting on small town America and he said something to the effect that a city is just a series of connected small towns - use that in your interview

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    In Charles Kuralt's book "On the Road" he was asked why he lived in NYC, yet spent most of his career discovering and reporting on small town America and he said something to the effect that a city is just a series of connected small towns - use that in your interview
    Rur ro, she's back. On topic, I went from a large County that was dealing with a mix of rural and suburbanizing issues to my first PD gig in a rural county. Going small forces you to deal with a lot of disparate issues and makes you more of a jack-of-all-trades. Further, you get an up close and personal view of politics then when you are a minion. I enjoyed it and it made me a lot less judgmental.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    Rur ro, she's back. On topic, I went from a large County that was dealing with a mix of rural and suburbanizing issues to my first PD gig in a rural county. Going small forces you to deal with a lot of disparate issues and makes you more of a jack-of-all-trades. Further, you get an up close and personal view of politics then when you are a minion. I enjoyed it and it made me a lot less judgmental.
    True, this small county PD gig has made me appreciate what my last boss went through.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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