Planning Commission Training Division of Community and Regional Affairs • Nicole Grewe • October 13, 2009. What is Planning?.
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Everyoneplans. Planning is an activity that touches just about every aspect of life. Individual’s plan their day, friends plan hunting trips, families plan for major purchases, businesses plan pricing, etc. The common thread that runs through these seemingly different activities is the time, effort, and expense that is saved in the future by thinking ahead and plotting a course of action today.
Planning benefits communities in the following ways:
An Effective Planning Commissioner Knows:
The planning commission shall:
(a) Prepare and recommend to the city council a comprehensive plan, with amendments and modifications from time to time, for the systematic development of the city;
(b) Prepare and recommend to the city council land use regulations for the implementation of the comprehensive plan consistent with Alaska Statutes;
(c) Prepare and recommend to the city council a coastal management program consistent with Alaska Statutes;
(d) Prepare and recommend to the city council coastal management regulations for implementation of the coastal management program;
(e) Prepare and recommend to the city council regulations for the control of platting and subdivision consistent with Alaska Statutes;
(f) Prepare and recommend to the city council an official map of the city;
(g) Act as the Nome platting board;
(h) Review applications for development compliance certification, and act upon requests for variances and conditional uses;
(i) Prepare and recommend to the city council rules and regulations for the conduct of meetings of the Nome planning commission in all of the capacities provided by law; and
(j) Assume such other authority and perform such other duties as the city council may prescribe from time to time.
Understands public process
Committed to planning
Declared conflict of interests
Balanced special interestsCharacteristics of an “Ideal” Planning Commission
It is [or should be] a panel with knowledge of community character, local regulations, and community development practice.
The most important aspect of the relationship between the planning commission and the governing body is the is the planning commission’s advisory role.
The council or assembly has the authority to approve, deny, or change commission recommendations.
A commission that has a good working relationship with the council can play a key role in keeping the council informed and educated about planning and community development issues.
Planning staff play a critical role in the planning process and effectiveness of the planning commission.
Public involvement gives the commission opportunity to educate, build support, and encourage ownership.
Do not fight with the city council, assembly, or each other!
Legislative Decisions make or interpret policy. Broad ranging and affect everyone in general and no one in particular.
Quasi-Judicial Decisions have direct affect on rights and liabilities of a single person or small group.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a municipal employee or official shall not participate in any official action in which that employee or official has a substantial financial interest, provided however that a city council member may participate in a matter if the ruling on the declaration filed pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section determines that the city council member shall vote on the matter.
(a) A municipal employee or official shall make a written declaration as provided in subsection (b) of this section when the municipal employee or official is or may become involved in an official action which:… involves significant financial gain or… involves a breach of public trust obligation…
(b) The declaration required by this section shall be filed with the presiding officer as described in subsection (c) of this section and shall describe with particularity…
(c) A ruling on whether an employee or official may participate in an official action shall be issued promptly by the presiding officer…
(d) The following factors shall be considered in making a ruling on a declaration filed pursuant to this section…
01.45 Conflict of Interest
AS 44.62.310 (a): All meetings of a governmental body of a public entity are open to the public [with certain exceptions].
Ensures public has reasonable opportunity to observe governing decision-making.
In general terms, the act requires:
Reflects the vision and direction of residents!
Meets grant eligibility requirements
Guides community and economic development
Establishes basis for regulation
Provides “blueprint” for growth
Represents future visionWhy Have a Comprehensive Plan?
(a) The planning commission shall prepare and recommend for adoption by resolution of the city council regulations for the development and use of land and improvements. The regulations for all land use including coastal management may be adopted as a whole or coastal management regulations may be adopted separately…
b) The planning commission shall prepare and recommend for adoption by resolution of the city council regulations establishing procedures for implementation of the duties of the planning commission to review proposed land development projects for certification of compliance with the land use regulations and the implementation of the duties of the planning commission to act upon requests for variances or conditional uses.
40.10.010 Description and Purpose
The Comprehensive Plan is a guide for the systematic and organized physical, social, and economic development, both public and private, of the Borough and serves as a long-range policy guide for the development of the Borough as a whole…
The purpose of the Comprehensive Plan:
40.10.010 Description and Purpose
The Comprehensive Plan shall be implemented through the adoption and application of:
In accordance with a comprehensive plan adopted under AS 29.40.030 and in order to implement the plan, the assembly by ordinance shall adopt or amend provisions governing the use and occupancy of land that may include, but are not limited to, zoning regulations restricting the use of land and improvements by geographic districts.
Map depicting zoning districts including residential, industrial, and commercial.
Text indicating permitted, conditionally permitted, and prohibited land uses.Zoning Regulations
Zoning is the conventional method of land use regulation that divides a municipality into districts or zones and adopts regulations concerning land use, placement, and building size, and space.
It classifies land according to use (residential, commercial, industrial) and establishes standards governing each use.
Zoning ordinance includes:
According to Alaska law, a variance may not be granted if:
To assure newly created lots do not become or do not create unanticipated costs for owners, municipality, or neighbors.
Platting is a largely technical activity that is fundamentally different than zoning:
Municipal land disposal methods
Capital Improvement Program
Alaska Coastal Management Program
Statewide Transportation Improvement Program
Sanitation master plans
Design review standards
State and Federal planning programs
Historic preservation standards
Environmental impact assessmentsAdditional Plan Implementation Tools