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Eight reasons to become (or continue being) a member of

8 ball1. We’ll provide you with the best content available online on how to be an effective planning commissioner:

For more than 20 years Elaine Cogan — in her The Effective Planning Commissioner column — has offered our readers (first in the Planning Commissioners Journal, and now on PlannersWeb) great suggestions on how to work more effectively on the planning commission. Elaine will continue to bring her insights to the pages of the PlannersWeb, and will be joined by the voices of other writers, including several long-time planning commissioners.

2. We’ll fill you in on planning basics and key implementation tools:

The experienced planning team of Jim Segedy and Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy in their The Planning Commission at Work column, along with long-time planner Steve McCutchan and others, will continue to dedicate many articles to covering the basics: that means how to most effectively prepare and implement comprehensive plans, and nuts and bolts zoning and related issues. Our articles are written so that both new and more experienced planning commissioners will benefit. will keep you informed. This week, for example, the Segedys look at what to do when you have an “unadoptable” plan.

3. We’re focusing on citizen engagement strategies:

Planner and public involvement expert Della Rucker, one of our regular contributing writers, has focused on citizen engagement over the past year. She’ll continue to do so — plus we’ll soon be publishing more articles on how planners and planning commissioners can better work with, and understand, the public. This will include an updated rewrite of one of our most popular articles: how to prepare and use citizen surveys.

4. We’ll help you better understand basic legal issues facing planning boards:

We’ve embarked on a series of articles providing a primer on some of the most important legal issues planning commissions deal with. We recently posted articles on dealing with nonconforming uses and on the basics of open meeting laws — and last  week on understanding spot zoning.

5. We’ve got you covered on ethics:

Over the years we’ve published a number of articles on ethical situations planning commissioners frequently encounter. We’re resuming our ethics column next month — and will be focusing on conflict of interest situations, political influence, relying on information outside the hearing, and much more.

6. We aim to give you the big picture:

Over the coming months, we’ll be continuing two series of articles. The first, “A Year in America,” has offered monthly insights into how four very different communities and parts of the country are dealing with planning challenges: Sartell, Minnesota; Glenwood Springs, Colorado; The Triangle region of North Carolina; and North Central California. You’ll learn from their experiences.

Our second series — “Across Generations: Young and Old” — looks at how different issues are affecting both senior citizens and young adults. Next week, you’ll find the third in this series, focusing on housing concerns facing both these groups.

7. You’ll have access to an incredible archive of articles:

As a PlannersWeb member, you’ll also have full access to over 500 articles from our archives, including just about every article we published in the Planning Commissioners Journal.

8. And you’ll get all this at a very affordable price.

As we did when publishing the Planning Commissioners Journal, we offer substantial discounts for group memberships on — enabling you to give all of your interested planning commissioners and staff access. Our popular “Basic10” package at just $95/year will provide you with 10 member slots, plus a slot for your group administrator (who also has full access to our site and archives). That’s less than $10/year per person. Our “UpTo20” gives you 20 members slots (plus one for the group administrator) for just $135/year — a cost of under $7 per member.