Planning Made Easy

By Bill Toner, Efraim Gil, Enid Lucchesi Gil, Carol Barrett, FAICP, Robert Joice

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APA member
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Developing a program to train planning commissioners and zoning board members takes a lot of time and effort. This manual makes the process easier. It covers the basics of community planning, zoning, subdivision regulation, and ethics. With chapters organized in discrete modules, it's ideal for both self-study and classroom use. Narratives explain general planning principles.

Exercises encourage users to think about the planning issues in their communities. And worksheets reinforce important concepts. A complementary training guide, Training Made Easy, is also available. Planning Made Easy is published as looseleaf pages in a three-ring notebook.

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Page Count
Date Published
April 1, 1994
APA Planners Press

Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction to Planning
1. What is planning?
2. The law
3. The work of the planning commission
4. The work of the zoning board
Trainer's Guide
Sample overhead

Part Two: Community Planning
5. Types of plans
6. The making of a comprehensive plan
7. The use of a community plan
8. Adopting, amending, and reviewing the plan
Trainer's guide

Part Three: Zoning
9. Zoning products and zoning processes
10. How to make zoning work
11. Special or conditional uses
12. Rezoning
13. Variances
14. Nonconforming uses and lots
15. Height and bulk regulation
Trainer's guide

Part Four: Subdivision Regulation and Development Controls
16. Subdivision regulation and zoning
17. How to make subdivision regulations work
18. Subdivision standards
19. Site plan review criteria
20. Development impact fees
Trainer's guide

Part Five: Ethics
21. Why ethics is important
22. Groundwork for ethical planning bodies
23. Role of the staff planner
24. Role of the commissioner or board member
25. What happens when you have ethical questions
Trainer's Guide
Answer sheet for ethics workshop
Scenario 1: County supervisor seeks your vote
Scenario 2: Moving the airport
Scenario 3: Affordable housing
Scenario 4: Annual birthday dinner
Scenario 5: Who gets to read the consultant study?
Scenario 6: Commissioner's fast food enterprise
Scenario 7: When a university flexes its muscle
Role-playing 1: Variance from minimum lot requirements
Role-playing 2: The bombastic board chairman
Appendix A: AICP/APA ethical principles in planning
Appendix B: A planning commissioner's creed
Appendix C: Procedures for fair public hearings