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Do you attend planning meetings where you live?

Do you attend planning meetings in the town you live?

  • Yes - I'm hardcore!

    Votes: 10 25.0%
  • No - I leave it at the office

    Votes: 10 25.0%
  • Maybe - if the issue is important enough

    Votes: 14 35.0%
  • The ubiquitous "other"

    Votes: 6 15.0%

  • Total voters
    40
  • Poll closed .

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
tsc said:
I am having a public hearing in about 1/2 hour... on a new regional plan. Are some plans just so non-specific that people just don't care to comment. This is a county-wide plan and I have already been told that probably no one will come. :-\

Is this common amongst other county planners??
Or maybe a better question is how many people out there who are NOT county planners (or eager students) attend their county planning vision meetings (as a citizen)? This should be a poll.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
H said:
Or maybe a better question is how many people out there who are NOT county planners (or eager students) attend their county planning vision meetings (as a citizen)? This should be a poll.
I've attended all of the planning meetings in the town in which I live, as a private citizen. And I make it a point NOT to mention what I do for a living.

But are we talking about "public hearings" or "vision meetings" here? In my mind they're completely different animals. If you've reached the public hearing phase without any other opportunity for public comment, something's wrong... Are residents even aware of the new regional plan? Were they involved from the beginning?
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Mud Princess said:
I've attended all of the planning meetings in the town in which I live, as a private citizen. And I make it a point NOT to mention what I do for a living.
I am impressed. you are hardcore. I try to go to some, but my plate is honestly just too full to go to non-work related public meetings. Plus, many of our public meetings are during the day.

Mud Princess said:
But are we talking about "public hearings" or "vision meetings" here?
either way, for my question. I am curious of how many go when you are not working or the next door neighbor.

I know I have now gone way off topic... mod, is there any way you could split this and make a poll??? I will say please. :)
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
H said:
either way, for my question. I am curious of how many go when you are not working or the next door neighbor.

I know I have now gone way off topic... mod, is there any way you could split this and make a poll??? I will say please. :)
Doesn't look like the mod is awake yet... ;)

tsc, I look forward to reviewing your plan. I like seeing what others have done. But I'm not in your county so I won't comment. :)
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,908
Points
57
Actually, I'm going to a public meeting tonight in the muni. I will be moving to soon.

It's a community meeting to talk about plans to "Cap the Ike". It's an effort the muni. is undertaking to cover the 1.5 mile section of I-290 which runs through the muni.

It's going to be interesting. I generally go to meetings, as a resident, if it is an important project or directly affects me.

At work, I'm always amazed by the people that are very vocal about the impact a particular variation, site plan, etc. will have on them, but then don't show up to the meeting. Even when they have had sufficient notice.

It'll be interesting to see the resident turn-out tonight. I've talked to the planners with the muni. and they say it is a rather vocal/involved community, so that's good to hear...................or is it? ;-)
 
Last edited:

Floridays

Cyburbian
Messages
769
Points
21
I do attend some of our local APA events if the topic is relevent to what our Division is reponsible for. Otherwise, I try to choose conferences/workshops within the state since travel is easier and there are so many places in FL that I've not yet seen. For example, I'm attending a FL Chamber of Commerce conference (environmental permitting) in July at Marco Island. :-D
My favorite national APA conference was in Seattle...
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,705
Points
69
No way. Maybe if there was a charette covering some plan that's relevant to my neighborood or municipality, but not a Board of Adjustment meeting, Planning Commission meeting or something like that.

I think only the smallest cities and towns in the US now don't televise their public hearings. I'll sometimes watch PC and BoA/variance meetings on cable, but I'm really looking at the staff presentation, and the dynamics of the board.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
I voted "The Ubiquitous Other". I have, on one occasion, attended a county planning commission meeting for the county. I live in said county, but pratice in the city, which is also where I live.

The particular issue was airport noise (at the international airport in Louisville), which was planning on changing the predominant runway they would use such that arrivals/departures would be overhead more frequently than they had been. To say it was 8-! is an understatement. I don't want to cast any stones, so I think I'll leave it at that.

(And, occasionally, a certain cargo airline with brown-tailed jets does have a 747 that I swear is just feet above my house on take-off. And it seems it is always at 4:00am |-) )
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
I would stop in on some but they are the same exact night of the month as the town I work for. It gets in the way of me potentially being on the planning board also.

A few weeks ago I got my first abutters notice as a homeowner. It was my first opportunity to be a NIMBY, but I didn't have a problem with the woman building a house with 10' less than required frontage or whatever. I think the husband died in a car accident recently too.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
I have to attend. I'm the staff person for the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Heritage Commission, Economic Development Council, Downtown Revitalization Committee, Airport Advisory Committee and of course the City Commission. There are two other ad hoc groups I regularly attend.
 

jmf

Cyburbian
Messages
594
Points
17
I don't work in the community where I live. I have only gone to one planning meeting which was a open house during the plan review. I would go to a public hearing/meeting if it affected my neighbourhood or I felt the issue affected the entire town. The community is so small, added to the fact that I have applied for a job with the town in the past, most staff and some citizens know who I am and what I do.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,917
Points
36
I live and work in the same community, though the planning for my neighbourhood is handled by another district office. There is a large development being proposed not too far away from my house, but I've looked at the plans and talked to the planner so I'm aware of what's going on.

I didn't bother with the community meeting as the NIMBYs in my 'hood piss me off.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Budgie said:
I have to attend. I'm the staff person for the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Heritage Commission, Economic Development Council, Downtown Revitalization Committee, Airport Advisory Committee and of course the City Commission. There are two other ad hoc groups I regularly attend.
Almost Ditto. I'm staff for our town's planning board and we meet EVERY week.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
25
I attend a fair number of meetings regarding local planning even if my agency is not involved. I also head off to APA luncheons and looking fwd to an audio conference in May...
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
No way! I can see very few circumstances where I would even consider attending a Plan Commission meeting unless it is work-related. Like Dan mentioned, I would maybe go to some charette or Master Plan input type of meeting if I felt that the City was heading in the wrong direction. I am a renter, so that may have something to do with it. They could rezone the parcel next to allow a fat rendering plant and I woudn't even show up at a meeting. I would just move. Now when I own a home, I am sure that my whole attitude will change.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I only attend if I have a subdivision on the agenda. Otherwise, no. I believe as that anonymous person put it: "When I die I hope it is at a meeting. The transition between life and death will be barely perceptible."
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
Messages
1,361
Points
23
I have and will continue to do so, especially regarding the N.O. City Planning Commission's efforts towards the adoption of the master plan. The CPC and the City have been criticized for the draft plan being too broad and not containing specific recommendations and plans of action (same with the 1999 Land Use Plan). That's partially due to contracting non-local consultants to draft the plan without any significant assistance or input from CPC staff planners. I, as well as other local planners, will attend future public meetings, charettes, and the subsequent public hearing to criticize the so-called master plan until it is worthy of effectively guiding the City's development and growth.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
I attended a public hearing in support of our dog park.

I have otherwise only spoken on the phone with a Vacaville planner to support a proposal to allow housing units above the first floor downtown. (The more resident people, the livelier our downtown will get). If the item ever became controversial, I would probably show up as a YIMBY "citizen activist." :)
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
Yup, I'm there. Both live and work in the same community, so I have a vested interest in what goes on.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Plannerbabs said:
Yup, I'm there. Both live and work in the same community, so I have a vested interest in what goes on.
Babs, I don't know about you, but I have a strong personal conviction that I should, live, shop, invest and play in the community I work for.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
Budgie said:
Babs, I don't know about you, but I have a strong personal conviction that I should, live, shop, invest and play in the community I work for.
Budgie, Plannerbabs I patronize as much as I possibly can in my own community -- but can that become a conflict of interest? Using one barbershop/salon over another for instance -- can that be seen by others as prejudicing your objectivity when some other guy that you do not patronize needs a parking variance? I really don't think I treat anyone any differently, but I wonder whether others see it as I do. Just wondering if others have thought about this.
 

cololi

Cyburbian
Messages
1,185
Points
22
I dont live in the city that I work for. My neighborhood has a very active community council and I have attended several PC, B of A, City Council, Historic Preservation, etc. meetings.
 
Messages
5,352
Points
31
In recent years, most of the public meetings that have been held were either part of my job duties or related to other projects where it was in my best interest to attend.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Gedunker said:
Budgie, Plannerbabs I patronize as much as I possibly can in my own community -- but can that become a conflict of interest? Using one barbershop/salon over another for instance -- can that be seen by others as prejudicing your objectivity when some other guy that you do not patronize needs a parking variance? I really don't think I treat anyone any differently, but I wonder whether others see it as I do. Just wondering if others have thought about this.
Good ethics question. I don't believe there is a conflict of interest per se because you would not directly benefit (particularly financially) from any decision related to the other business or even on a decision affecting the business you frequent. However, depending on the nature of your relationship with the barber/beautician, you may wish to excuse yourself from the proceedings if there is a preception of a conflict brought up by the public or others. If a family member or good friend is involved directly with the business, you may have to excuse yourself. Most of the time if your conscious is bothering you (assuming you have a conscious), then you may want to talk about it with your staff attorney, the Chairman or others in a position of authority regarding the action. Disclosure is always the best policy.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I have only gone to a few meetings in my life beyond what I normally 'have' to do for work. In Edmonton, it wouldn't matter anyway as almost all of the planning decisions are made at an administrative level. They don't even have a municipal planning commission.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
I stay in contact with Staff when it's something going on right around our neighborhood, but otherwise I try to get away from work when I'm at home. That's one of the main reasons we bought in the next city over- I couldn't imagine waking up and seeing zoning violations and feeling like I never got away from work when I was at home.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
No way. There have been a couple of zoning cases, including a really big one recently, in my neighborhood. After going in front of the Planning Commission and County Commission as a county planner for over 7 years (and still working for the county in another area), I'm not about to appear as Ms. Concerned Citizen. That does not stop me from feeding info, tips, etc. to my neighbors, then watching all hell break loose on t.v. during the meetings.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Not a chance. Its like being a gynecologyst and coming home to a horny wife... "honey, If I have to see another one of THOSE...."
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
I more or less try to, but since the standard Chicago way to advertise a "public meeting" is on the inside of the filing cabnet in the basement of the alderman's office guarded by Tom O'Mally from "Bridgeport Security," I don't often hear about them in time. ;-)
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
Budgie said:
Good ethics question. I don't believe there is a conflict of interest per se because you would not directly benefit (particularly financially) from any decision related to the other business. {snip} Disclosure is always the best policy.
Budgie -- I know what you are saying -- I've been practicing here for 15+ years. I do not have a "direct, pecuniary interest" -- as our state statute defines it, nor does anyone in my family. Still, as you rightly point out, I wonder about the "perception" issue.

I have to get my hair cut somewhere -- (what little of it there may be:-D), does that mean that I have to excuse myself from a particular docket because it "could be perceived" that I might have a conflict? What if it is a salon that caters mainly to the opposite sex? I could -- but don't -- get my hair cut there. Is there the possibility that someone could imagine a conflict?

Does it mean -- to avoid such a situation -- that I have to buy every good or service in *the town next door* :-c even though the personnel policy dictates that I must live in the municiplity that I work for? The expectation being that I also spend at least part of my disposable income in the city?

Let me say that I raise the question mostly in the absurd. I have never been in a professional situation where I have had to excuse myself -- and I would consider the meagerest of threshholds as cause to do so. If you take this to its nth degree, you would have to purchase everything over the net. I'm just wondering where the line is...if there is a line.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
Zoning Goddess said:
... I'm not about to appear as Ms. Concerned Citizen. That does not stop me from feeding info, tips, etc. to my neighbors, then watching all hell break loose on t.v. during the meetings.
Sounds like fun! ;) Too bad none of my community's meetings are televised. Gosh, they don't even have a stenographer.
 

teshadoh

Cyburbian
Messages
435
Points
13
I attend exclusively local neighborhood planning meetings. On a every other month basis I attend the neighborhood & NPU meetings for Grant Park.

The rest of the city can go to hell! :-D

Anyone have interesting planning geek stories? We have 2 people that always brings a chuckle or a groan to every meeting. There's the temporary sign nazi who asks every developer about leaving signs around. And there is the water runoff nazi who criticizes every modification of a house b/c it will result in more water runoff.

Of course it helps I'm not a planner. :)
 
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