Zoning Practice — October 2005

Ask the Author

Here are reader questions answered by S. Mark White, AICP, author of the September 2005 Zoning Practice article "Classifying and Defining Uses and Building Forms: Land-Use Coding for Zoning Regulations."

Question from Jill Vessels:

Vancouver, Washington, is in a monumental construction growth right now and I am thinking of changing careers. I have been a librarian for 19 years and I am applying for a Permit Specialist 2 job. This is a new field for me. The job entails processing building and land use permits, inspection and code enforcement violations and procedure, use of web and data base resources, and fee calculations. Are there any books or articles, (or any advice), that you can give to help me get a leg up on the terminology and basic knowledge of the job?

Answer from author S. Mark White:

If you are seeking a basic reference to get started in the field, you might try Herbert Smith's Citizen's Guide to Planning (3d ed. 1993) and Hoch, Dalton, & So, Practice of Local Government Planning (2000).

The Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development has an excellent library of resources for its state growth management program at www.cted.wa.gov/portal/alias__CTED/lang__en/tabID__375/DesktopDefault.aspx. Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington (MRSC) maintains a very comprehensive collection of resources on its website — try www.mrsc.org/Subjects/Planning/planning.aspx for planning resources.

Finally, read, reread, and reread the City's Comprehensive Plan (online at www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/compplan.asp?menuid=10463&submenuid=10485) and your Land Use and Development Code (online at www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/MunicipalCode.asp?menuid=10462&submenuID=10478&title

Best of luck in your new career!