What if you moved that window five feet west on the front façade?

APA Colorado Chapter


Wednesday, October 4, 2017
1:40 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. MDT

CM | 1.50

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What goes on behind the scenes at the municipal development review department and the developer’s office?  This session will discuss the push/pull factors for municipal development requirements versus the developer’s project deadlines and budget constraints. 

The focus will be on how to balance public and private interests, foster effective communication, create trust, and improve flexibility and certainty in the development process in order to produce preferred development outcomes.   

Learning Objectives:

1. …to understand the land development process from both the planner’s and developer’s side, and the planner’s role as a development process facilitator. 

2. …about the needs and interests of both the planner and the developer in order to learn and implement effective ways of communication and negotiation to streamline the development process.

3. …about the methods and tools used to improve the development review process and foster a better, more productive, planner/developer relationship and project.


  1. Introduction to the development process, from conception to completion. Communicate to planners that this process does not begin and/or end with the planning department.  There are many factors that play into the development project.  How does the planner see their role in this process?  What is the developer’s role?
  2. What drives the planner and what drives the developer during the development process?  Are we both driving down different roads to the same destination, or are we on the same road going different directions?   What if we drove (or took a bus) down the same road in the same direction?
  3. What are the primary issues, concerns, hostilities, and roadblocks that planners and developers face during the development review process?  What if we could eliminate these issues/concerns? (squash our beefs with each other)
  4. What are some forms of effective communication and negotiation?
  5. What are planning departments doing to facilitate the development review process that developers find effective?  What are developers doing that planning departments appreciate and value?
  6. What could planners and developers do to improve their relationship? 
  7. Provide actual experiences and examples.

CM Description

1. The planning objective is to inform attendees regarding the development process, the planner’s role in the process, and how the planner can effectively balance the needs of the planning department, developer, and community. The objective of the session is to provide methods and tools to navigate the development process.  Development review is a primary task for many city and county planners, and this session aims to help planners to better navigate this process and to understand the developer’s perspective.  Understanding and mastering this part of planning will help in career development objectives. 

2. Our panel will consist of professionals from the public, private, and development sector. Each panelist will take part in the presentation/discussion.  The presentation will be given through PowerPoint with general examples and nonproprietary information.

3. Our session will include a sign in sheet and survey. We will have, at a minimum, two points of contact to ensure the CM activity is properly administered.


Michael Gradis, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Michael is currently a Development Review Planner at the City of Centennial, CO. He started with the City in April 2015. He is the lead development review planner in a community known as the “Contract City” due to its innovative public-private service delivery partnerships and business responsive approach to development ... Read More

Jeanne Shaffer, AICP

Confirmed Speaker


Gregory Meeter, AICP

Confirmed Speaker


Contact Info

Shelia Booth, sbooth@apacolorado.org