Effective Zoning Counter Customer Service

Zoning Practice — July 2015

By Michael Blue, FAICP, Graham Billingsley, FAICP


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This article sets out an approach to getting there through understanding what customer service means in your organization, defining new expectations, providing staff members the tools and training to meet those expectations, and sharing some dos and don’ts as a place to start.


Page Count
Date Published
July 1, 2015
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Authors

Michael Blue, FAICP
Michael is a Principal Consultant at Teska Associates in Evanston, IL. His work includes preparing comprehensive and strategic plans, zoning regulations, conducting staff and organizational development, and a performing development approval audits. He previously worked as Community Development Director for Highland Park, IL and Deputy CD Director for Mount Prospect, IL. Work in those communities included long range planning, current planning, and support of Council and Commission activities. Active in national and IL APA, Michael currently is chair of ILAPA Commissioner Training Committee and the APA's Planning Officials Committee, he also serves on the AICP Membership Committee.

Graham Billingsley, FAICP
Graham Billingsley has significant experience covering more than 40 years of practice. He was educated in planning, landscape architecture, and architecture, and has practiced in all three fields. He has worked in both the public and private sectors. Graham has developed land use codes, conducted studies or projects in comprehensive planning, urban design, downtown revitalization, demographic and economic analysis, opinion surveying, landscape architecture, architecture, historic preservation, process management, housing studies and has acted as an expert witness in numerous land use legal cases. He has worked throughout the United States, the Middle East, and northern Africa. He is now retired from active practice.