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The Planning Commission at Work

The Planning Commission As Independent Advisor

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A planning commission does not exist or function in isolation. In this column, I want to focus on the relationship or “linkage” between the planning commission and local governing body. In my next column, I’ll move on to other planning commissions linkages — with developers; with the public; with other municipal boards; and with the commission’s own staff.

Ever since the nation’s first planning commission was appointed by the Hartford, Connecticut, City Council in 1907, planning commissions have served as independent advisors to their local governing body on planning and land use matters. A key word in the preceding sentence is advisors. See Sidebar on The Standard Planning Enabling Act. Keeping this in mind is important when considering a planning commission’s relationship to the governing body. …

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