When planning commissioners become “behind the scenes” advocates. Some cautionary advice from Greg Dale.
Ethics & the Planning Commission
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You’re doing some shopping. While waiting to buy some cheese, a fellow planning commissioners spots you and wants to discuss an application before the commission for decision. What should you do?
Greg Dale explores why fairness may require more than the legal minimum.
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.
Ted Shekell discusses ex-parte communications — and poses a brief hypothetical situation for your consideration.
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.