Just who does the planning commission serve? — Applicants? Citizens opposing a project? The “public”? We resume our ethics & the planning commission series with a look at this question.
New PlannersWeb columnist Ted Shekell discusses ex-parte communications — and poses a brief hypothetical situation for your consideration.
From conflicts of interest, to ex parte communications, to questions of bias or influence, planning commissioners periodically face ethical questions — some clear cut, others more complex.
Do we have an ethical responsibility to take into account the regional impacts of local land use decisions?
Just about every planning commission at some time faces questions about ex parte contacts. Greg Dale explains why ex parte contacts can cause problems and how to avoid common pitfalls.
Is it appropriate for citizens who have represented “special interest” groups to serve on local planning boards? Greg Dale considers the ethical dimensions of this question.
Greg Dale explains why “it’s all relative” in his article on conflict of interest situations involving family members.
Are there any constraints on when a planning board member can speak out publicly as an individual, rather than as a representative of the board? Greg Dale looks at some political and ethical considerations.
Site visits can result in ex-parte contacts, since they occur outside the public forum. It’s important for planning commissions and commissioners to think through how best to conduct a site visit.
PCJ columnist Greg Dale explains why it’s critical that planning commissioners be independent and informed when reviewing development applications.
Greg Dale tells how conflicts of interest created a stir in one New England community. With suggestions on how to be proactive in dealing with conflict situations.
Planning commissions sometimes feel the urge to “get even” with a developer who has “burnt” them in the past. Greg Dale examines the ethical issues involved in getting even.
Has anyone ever offered you a gift or favor because you’re a planning commissioner? asks Greg Dale.