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Council Oversight of Plan Commission Decisions

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I read this article this morning about a veto of a Common Council that wanted the power to override Plan Commission decisions.

As a planner I think that a Common Council having override power is terrible. The Common Councils typically have a say in things like Comp. Plans, Zoning Ordinances, PUD's, etc. It seems to me that if they want better development (this particular City already has some of the best looking developments in the state because of their high standards) the Council should enact tougher design standards for the Plan Commission to follow. Allowing Council members to have the final say is poor planning because their decisions will likely be based on what is best for their political career and not what is best for the City.

What do others think?
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,890
Points
38
In NH it's cut and dried.....Councils have authority over zoning and CIP (with PB input of course), Planning Boards have authority over Master Plans, Subdivisions, and site plans. Straight from the statutes, can't do it any other way, as we're not a home rule state.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I totally agree with you. Councils should adopt the standards and leave them to a Planning Commission or Administration to implement. Having veto power would make every planning issue a political one (well, more so than they already are) and would defeat the purpose of an impartial review by a planning professional or planning board.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
My opinion falls in line with the rest so far. There is a movement afoot in my City to have Conditional Uses have their public hearing and decision at the Plan Commission, with Council either affirming or overturning those cases. I'm inclined to agree on that one, as our Plan Commission can get squirrley from time to time.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I'll echo everyone else's comments.

Here Council's have the final say on plan amendments, rezoning's and approving plans of subdivision that create new public streets.

The Commission/PAC, as the case may be, approves variances and recomends to council items related to those mentioned above.

Staff, approves plans of subdivions, that don't create new streets and issues permits and makes recomendations to those above.

i'd hate to see, and council here has tried, to be able to veto staff and the commission's discretionary powers.
 
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