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Newbie Question(s)

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
Keeping in mind that my breadth of knowledge of the planning profession is almost zilch...

what relevance do things like chicago's Central Area Plan or austin's Task Force on the Economy report have for the cities themselves? I mean, I must havce like hundreds of pages of "plans" and "recommendations" and "guidelines" stored on my computer, but which ones actually guide a city's development and which other ones just turn out to be idealistic, bureaucratic fluff that ends up wasting away in the procurement division?

in short, what are the stuff that a city actually abides by (relatively)? (i suppose the equivalent of a soviet five-year plan, eh?)
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
If your municipality is like most in the US, the zoning oredinance and subdivision/land development ordinance are "policy" documents, which must be adhered to. Everything else is a "vision" for the municipalities growth. These visionary documents should guide the development of your policy documents, however.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Building on Mike D's comments, plans are generally guidance to a municipality. How closely they are followed or implemented can be influenced by any number of factors including the quality of the plan, the degree of popular and political support for the plan, the commitment of staff and political leaders to implement its recommendations, and the economic ability of the area to support the intended uses.

I often cite the 1967 plan for the community I work in. It showed a redeveloped downtown with an enclosed mall and high- and low-rise apartments filling adjacent neighborhoods. This was envisioned for a rural community of, at the time, less than 10,000 people. Its value is mostly for the laughs it provides. It was never implemented.

On the other hand our 1999 East Neighborhood Plan was put together with a good understanding of the market and development was initiated in a public-private partnership. So far, it has follwed the plan almost to the letter.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
Our Comprehensive (Growth Management) Plan sets out the policies that are implemented in the Land Development Code. In the case of conflict, the Plan rules.

The Comp Plan is updated semi-annually and also is the official document for Capital Improvements Implementation, which affects every department in our jurisdiction.

Having said that, most "area studies" are fluff that never come to fruition.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
The best written zoning code in the world will mean nothing if the board grants a variance to anyone who asks for it.

- - - which 'round these parts happens more often than not.
 
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