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Planning and Planning Commission Short Course City of Saint Marys Planning Commission April 9, 2002 Presented by: Department of Community and Economic.

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Presentation on theme: "Planning and Planning Commission Short Course City of Saint Marys Planning Commission April 9, 2002 Presented by: Department of Community and Economic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planning and Planning Commission Short Course City of Saint Marys Planning Commission April 9, 2002 Presented by: Department of Community and Economic Development

2 What is planning? 4 Everyone plans. 4 Planning is an activity that touches just about every aspect of life. 4 Individuals plan their day, friends plan outdoor trips, families plan for major purchases, start-up companies write business plans.

3 The common thread that runs through these seemingly different activities is creating a degree of certainty or order by thinking ahead and plotting a course of action today.

4 Why plan? Planning can: 4 Save money 4 Establish ground rules 4 Can promote economic development 4 Provide a forum for community consensus 4 Promote community design 4 Protect property and property values 4 Can reduce environmental damage and conserve resources

5 Institutional Benefits of Planning Planning also... 4 Builds Capacity 4 Promotes efficiency 4 Creates order

6 Planning builds Capacity 4 The community becomes resourceful through the analysis, knowledge, and problem-solving that planning requires 4 Can make sure the communitys vision is in synch with community needs

7 Planning Creates Efficiencies / Order 4 New development is located near existing utilities. 4 Capital improvements are coordinated and scheduled. 4 Scarce waterfront land is reserved for water- dependent resources. 4 Anticipates problems before they become crisis.

8 Planning is NOT magic 4 Produce miracles. 4 Be used to stop the clock. 4 Succeed without implementing the planned policies. 4 Restore economic health overnight. 4 Succeed without balance. 4 Work to the benefit of your community unless you want it to. Planning cannot:

9 The Opposite of Planning 4 Disorganization 4 Confusion 4 Redundancy 4 No priorities 4 Poor decisions 4 Waste of time, money, land, and resources

10 Planning Quick Summary 4 Everyone plans, in fact we do it every day.. 4 Create a degree of certainty 4 Planning can save money, establish ground rules, provide a forum for consensus 4 Planning builds capacity, Promotes efficiency, creates order 4 Planning is not magic 4 Without Planning, time, money, land and resources can be wasted

11 The Planning Commission

12 What is a planning commission? 4 Commissions are special purpose government bodies created by the governing body (council/assembly), charged with specific duties and given limited powers. 4 The commission is an advisory group to the governing body. Go team!

13 Characteristics of the Ideal Commission Having the right kind of members on the commission can be critical to its success as a productive and respected group.

14 Characteristics of the Ideal Commission 4 Balance 4 Skills 4 Understanding of community 4 Understanding of public process 4 Commitment to planning 4 Disclosure of conflicts 4 No special interests 4 Objectivity 4 Sufficient free time

15 A good planning commissioner must know: 4 What planning is. 4 What zoning and platting is. 4 How a planning commission operates. 4 The authority and duties of the commission. 4 The legal aspects of commission conduct. 4 The standards for decision-making.

16 The Authority and Duties of the Planning Commission The planning commission derives its authority and duties through Title of Alaska Statutes. Authority is further detailed in the local ordinance establishing the commission.

17 Authority conferred by AS Prepare and submit to the assembly (city council) a proposed comprehensive plan in accordance with AS for the systematic and organized development of the borough 4 Review, recommend, and administer measures necessary to implement the comprehensive plan, including measures provided under AS Other duties as prescribed by ordinance

18 Duties of the Commission Note: Duties of the planning commission will vary from community to community. 4 Prepare a comprehensive plan 4 Prepare a district coastal management plan 4 Review and recommend land-use regulations 4 Act as the platting authority 4 Review and recommend property rezoning 4 Act on variances and conditional use permits 4 Review and advise land acquisition and disposal

19 Duties of the Commission, continued 4 Hear appeals from administrative decisions 4 Review and recommend capital improvements 4 Review the annual planning budget 4 Develop the planning departments annual work program 4 Hold public meetings and hearings 4 Initiate planning projects 4 Coordinate with other agencies plans 4 Other duties as authorized by ordinance

20 Planning commission duties in detail 4 Holding public hearings and meetings 4 Preparing a comprehensive plan 4 Reviewing and recommending land use regulations 4 Recommending property rezoning 4 Sitting as the Platting Board 4 Acting on variances and conditional-use-permits 4 Coordinating with other government agencies 4 Reviewing and recommending capital projects

21 The commissions relationship with staff and elected officials The most important aspect of the relationship between the planning commission and the council or assembly is the planning commissions advisory role. The council or assembly has the authority to make changes from the commissions recommendations. A commission that has a good working relationship with the council can play a key role in keeping the council informed and educated about planning issues.

22 The Commission Quick Summary 4 Special Purpose 4 ADVISORY group 4 Balance 4 Understand Public Process 4 Knowledgeable of their job and duties. 4 Specific duties 4 Communicate with the public / hold public hearings 4 Prepare Comp Plan 4 Initiate planning studies and projects 4 Hear appeals 4 Review and advise on land acquisition and disposal

23 The Plan 4 Creates order and predictability. 4 Is. 4 Is an ongoing process.

24 Overall Purpose The comprehensive plan is a document, not a standardized template. 4 It should be a visionary document, attempting to anticipate future events and needs. 4 It can be a decision-making and policy tool for the manager and department heads. 4 Home rule and first class municipalities, and second class boroughs are required to exercise planning powers. Planning is optional in a Second Class City.

25 Comprehensive Plan Contents 4 Statement of policies, goals, and standards. 4 Land use plan, displaying idealized or forecasted use and settlement patterns. 4 Community facilities and transportation plan. 4 Budget and CIP document that identifies services, projects, facilities, and infrastructure. 4 Map showing actual and forecasted land use. 4 Recommendations to implement comprehensive plan.

26 Why have a comprehensive plan? 4 Its the law 4 Eligibility for grants 4 Economic development 4 Problem solving 4 Basis for regulations 4 Policy coordination 4 Blueprint for growth 4 Vision of the future

27 The Plan Quick Summary 4 Creates Order & Predictability 4 Is Dynamic 4 Is an On-going Process 4 Should be Visionary 4 Must Proceed Zoning 4 Realistic Implementation Plan 4 Its a Tool for Community and Policymakers 4 Needs to be Updated

28 Zoning

29 AS Land Use Regulation In accordance with a comprehensive plan adopted under AS and in order to implement the plan, the assembly by ordinance shall adopt or amend provisions governing the use and occupancy of land that may include, but are not limited to, zoning regulations restricting the use of land and improvements by geographic districts.

30 Relationship of Zoning and Planning 4 The plan comes first; state law states in AS that land use regulations must be developed in accordance with a comprehensive plan. 4 Zoning must be clearly related to the goals of the plan. If the plan calls for preserving the rural lifestyle and minimizing the costs of government, property might be zoned for large lots that do not need piped water or sewer. 4 A zoning ordinance is a regulatory document. A comprehensive plan is a policy document.

31 What is zoning? Zoning is the classification of land according to use and the establishment of standards governing each use within its zone. Residential Commercial Industrial

32 1. Maps, showing the precise location of different land use classifications. 2.Text, containing uses and standards for each classification. A municipalitys zoning code consists of two parts:

33 The Purpose of Zoning 4 To promote public safety and health by creating setbacks between building (fire safety) and access to sunlight in apartments (in tenements early in the century). 4 Segregate incompatible uses and activities. 4 Protect property values (and tax revenues), particularly for single-family residential neighborhoods). Continue -

34 The Purpose of Zoning 4 Regulate property use in accordance with community standards and values (which may change by location, and over time). 4 Establish ground rules for development through a public process, that apply to everyone. 4 Prevent or reduce nuisances such as heat, light, glare, dust, noise or odors from affecting off-site property owners.

35 Zoning Quick Summary 4 Implements the Comp Plan 4 Regulatory Document 4 Classification of Land into Zones 4 Maps / Text 4 Promotes Public Safety and health 4 Segregates Incompatible Uses 4 Establishes Ground Rules for Everyone

36 Platting

37 What is platting What is platting? Platting establishes standards for subdividing land and places certain requirements on those divisions. 4 Its purpose is to assure that lots are created in accordance with community standards and are properly surveyed and recorded. 4 Platting can have a profound impact on community development by controlling the size, number, and location of lots that are created.

38 Typical Platting Requirements Might Require: 4 Approval of on-site wastewater and sewage disposal. 4 Buffers along anadromous fish streams. 4 Adequate drainage. 4 Streets and platted rights-of-ways 4 Require access to all lots. 4 Easements for utilities. 4 Land for parks or public open space.

39 Two Examples of Platting

40 Platting Quick Summary 4 Established Standards for Subdividing Land 4 Assurance properly Surveyed & Recorded 4 Can control size, number, and location of lots 4 Requirements: water and sewer, buffers, drainage, streets, easements.

41 Conditional Use Permit

42 4 The conditional use permit gets its name because uses are permitted only if certain conditions are followed that reduce or eliminate the negative characteristics of the use. 4 Can also be called special exceptions or special permits, and are designed to permit specified uses under specified conditions.

43 Characteristics of Conditional Use Permits 4 The use is consistent with the comprehensive plan and municipal ordinances. 4 The use is compatible with other uses and activities in the zone. 4 The use will not adversely affect health, safety, or welfare of persons or property in the surrounding area. More -

44 Characteristics of Conditional Use Permits 4 Utility service is adequate, or will be made adequate, and the use will not adversely affect system design and/or capacity. 4 The use will not significantly degrade water, air, land, or habitat quality. 4 All reasonable objections have been considered by the planning commission.

45 Sample Conditions: Conditional Use Permit The conditions placed on a proposed activity must be reasonable, well-related to the standards in the zoning code and well-related to the purpose they are meant to serve. 4 A limitation on the hours of operation (noise and traffic) compatible with surrounding uses. 4 Site screening such as fences and trees (unsightly use). Careful placement on the lot (unsightly use; compatibility with surrounding uses).

46 Sample Conditions: Conditional Use Permit 4 Construct utilities to the site, with no interference to the municipalities ability to serve other areas. 4 A limitation on site clearing (compatibility with surrounding uses; not significantly degrade land and habitat quality). 4 Building size, color, and landscaping

47 Conditional Use Permits Quick Summary 4 Certain Conditions must be met 4 Use consistent with Comp Plan 4 Compatible w/uses & activities in Zone 4 Not Adversely affecting Health, Safety 4 Will not degrade Air, Water, Land, Habitat 4 Utility Service is Adequate 4 Reasonable Objections Considered

48 Variances

49 What is a variance? 4 A variance is an exception from the strict terms of the zoning (or platting) code. 4 Or, more officially, it is a waiver of the provisions of the zoning ordinance when strict application of the ordinance would cause exceptional practical difficulties or undue hardship to the property owner.

50 Two Types of Variances Use Variance 4 A use variance permits activities to occur that is otherwise prohibited in a given zone. Area Variance 4 An area variance permits a relaxation of the prescriptive requirements of the code such as setbacks and building height.

51 Variances under AS According to Alaska law, a variance may not be granted if: 4 The special conditions that require the variance are caused by the person seeking the variance. 4 The variance will permit a land use in a district in which that use is prohibited. 4 The variance is sought solely to relieve financial hardship of inconvenience.

52 When can a variance be granted? Variances are meant to be granted when some unique condition related to the land makes it difficult, if not impossible, to comply with terms of the zoning code. Most often, variances are granted for relief from setback requirements or building height or lot coverage.

53 Variance Quick Summary 4 An Exception from the Terms of Zoning 4 Use Variances & Area Variance 4 Variance permits use where restricted 4 Meant to be granted when a unique condition makes it impossible to comply with code.

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