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As a former planning commissioner, member of a regional development commission, member of a county board of adjustment, applicant making a land use request, and now professional planner, I have, at different times, applied for, presented, and decided land use requests. Understanding the different perspectives that applicants, commissioners, and staff “bring to the table,” can enhance the quality of local decision-making and increase the credibility of the planning commission.
Facing Friends and Neighbors
As planning commissioners, I’m sure you have heard difficult requests from friends or neighbors that do not comply with the code. It is hard not to be empathetic with your neighbors. They stand before you, looking at you, hoping you — of all people — will understand and help them. After all, you live there. Silently, you wonder whether granting the request would be that bad. After all, it really wouldn’t hurt anyone. What’s a couple of feet in the greater scheme of things? …
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