MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE BUREAU OF PLANNING AND THE BUREAU OF DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Administrative Rule Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority
The Bureau of Planning (“PLANNING”) and the Bureau of Development Services (“BDS”) work cooperatively on numerous initiatives, projects and programs to:
• Advance the City’s Comprehensive Plan;
• Promote the City’s development goals;
• Provide the best possible service to all of our customers;
• Develop policies that are easy to understand and implement;
• Promote nonregulatory approaches to policy implementation wherever possible; and
• When regulation is the best way to implement policies, develop regulations that are easy to understand, implement, and enforce.
The two bureaus have a special relationship in that PLANNING is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Portland Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Code. BDS is responsible for administering the Zoning Code in its application to property and land use applications.
The two bureaus value open communication, excellent customer service, and meaningful public participation, and rely on mutual and reciprocal assistance in working together.
Purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (this “MOU”)
- To build a collaborative relationship between BDS and PLANNING that promotes their mutual success and effectiveness at accomplishing the public’s goals, that builds a culture of responsiveness and innovation in their work, and that captures the synergy of linking planning to implementation.
- To clarify what it means for “planning activities” to lead to “implementation” activities and the roles of PLANNING and BDS in each.
- To better provide for public involvement and transparency in both planning and implementation activities.
- To clarify the roles of PLANNING and BDS.
- To define BDS’ role and participation in planning activities before projects or programs reach the implementation phase.
- To define PLANNING’s role, after completion of planning activities, for an area or project
- To define BDS’ and PLANNING’s roles in the evaluation or assessment of citywide and area plan goals and policies.
In order for the parties to maintain an efficient and effective working relationship, it is important that there be a clear understanding of the different roles and responsibilities of each Party, how those roles and responsibilities complement and support each other, and how clarification is obtained when there is an overlap. The Parties understand, accept, and respect the roles of each Party as broadly described below.
1. PLANNING serves as the City agency responsible for:
• Developing, with the public and City Council, the City’s long-term vision for future land use, economic and physical development throughout the City as authorized or permitted by ORS 227;
• Developing plans, policies, strategies, studies, and partnerships that develop, promote, and advance and help implement the City’s long-term vision;
• Maintaining, monitoring and improving the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code provisions, Plan Districts, and Design Guidelines as tools to guide future development;
• Coordinating planning and development activities among City bureaus;
• Leading citywide initiatives such as River Renaissance;
• Serving as primary liaison to regional and state governments for planning;
• Administering City tax abatement programs; and
• Staffing the Planning Commission.
2. BDS serves as the City agency responsible for:
• Administering the Zoning Code in its application to property and to land use reviews;
• Responding to requests for information about Zoning and code application issues;
• Providing recommendations on Land Use Reviews and, where appropriate, making administrative decisions on Land Use Reviews;
• Staffing the Design Commission, Historic Landmarks Commission, and Adjustment Committee; and
• Providing information to the public through outreach, trainings, the BDS website, and brochures to assist the public in understanding regulations and procedures.
The work activities of the Parties typically fall within one of the following broad categories:
• LongRange Planning, Legislative, and Code Development Projects
• Impact Assessment
• Interbureau Management-Level Meetings
• Participation at Design Commission, Historic Landmarks Commission, Adjustment Committee, Planning Commission, and City Council
• Monitoring and Evaluation
• Early Assistance, Land Use Reviews, and Permit Reviews
• Map Error Correction and Map Modification/Refinement Process
• GIS, TRACS, and Shared Resources
• Conflict Resolution
• Staff Development
• Interactions with the Public
• Updates and Amendments to this Agreement
• Coordination with Other Agencies and Stakeholders
I. Long Range Planning, Legislative, and Code Development Projects
PLANNING has the responsibility for maintaining the Portland Comprehensive Plan and its Zoning Code. BDS requires an ongoing system for proposing and implementing amendments intended to correct and clarify the Zoning Code in order to improve its administration and outcomes in the field, without changing the basic policy or intent. Because of PLANNING’s responsibility, any amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and its Zoning Code will be undertaken by PLANNING. BDS has responsibility for other development-related titles of the Portland City Code (Titles 10, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 32). The success of each bureau and its planning and code projects is dependent upon effective coordination. To achieve that coordination, the bureaus agree to adhere to the points outlined in Attachment A of this MOU.
II. Impact Assessment
Both bureaus will coordinate with each other in the evaluation of impacts of any legislative or policy changes that may affect the other bureau as described in the impact assessment process. To achieve such coordination, BDS and PLANNING agree to use the process outlined in Attachment B .
III. Interbureau Management-Level Meetings
The bureaus will use the Bureau Coordination Group (BCG) to establish appropriate opportunities for their respective management to participate in discussions related to policy choices and code provisions at appropriate stages in each other’s projects.
IV. Participation at Design Commission, Historic Landmarks Commission, Adjustment Committee, Planning Commission, and City Council
PLANNING staffs the Planning Commission and represents the Planning Commission at City Council. BDS staffs the Design Commission, Historic Landmarks Commission, and Adjustment Committee, and represents them at City Council. BDS also staffs the Development Review Advisory Committee. Each bureau will invite the other to participate in Commission/Committee work sessions to provide information on topics of importance to each bureau. In addition, each bureau will invite the other to participate in City Council hearings and work sessions to provide information on topics of importance to each bureau.
V. Monitoring and Evaluation
BDS and PLANNING both recognize the importance of monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the City’s regulations and policies. The two bureaus will work together through the BCG to identify priorities for evaluation. Both bureaus will continue to look for improved methods of gathering information from TRACS, customer surveys, case review, etc. BDS and PLANNING will both continue to seek adequate funding for monitoring and evaluation.
VI. Early Assistance, Land Use Reviews, and Permit Reviews
BDS is responsible for administering the Zoning Code in its application to property, land use review applications, and permit applications, as outlined in Attachment C .
VII. Map Error Correction and Map Modification/Refinement Process
BDS will continue to implement a pilot project to address requests for map changes to the environmental overlay zones. The project allows for an applicant to choose either of two process options as described in Attachment D
. The effectiveness of the pilot project will be reviewed no later than the next update of this agreement. If agreed to by both bureaus, amendments to the Zoning Code to clarify or improve this process will be made through an appropriate legislative process, most likely a RICAP.
BDS and PLANNING will continue to implement the Map Error Correction Process, Revised January 5, 2006, for the alleged map errors that are not in environmental overlay zones, and as one of the options for alleged map errors in the environment overlay zones, as described in Attachment D .
BDS and PLANNING will coordinate communication to staff about issues of interest to both bureaus. The goal is to provide factual data to offset rumors that spread rapidly between staff. Management of each bureau will copy management of the other bureau on any “all employee” emails or relevant intranet postings. In addition, BDS and PLANNING will include each other on mailing lists for bureau publications and notices.
IX. GIS, TRACS, and Shared Resources
BDS and PLANNING will continue to share resources in the areas of GARTH, historic resources files, TRACS support, and in similar areas such as providing land use history data, producing custom maps and training on ArcMap, and other new technologies. The details of these arrangements are listed in Attachment E .
X. Conflict Resolution
Occasionally, disagreements arise between various bureaus regarding the need for and appropriate level of regulation, and subsequently, the interpretation of City Code provisions or related administrative policies. There may also be conflict among regulations that significantly delay the development review process. There is a need for resolving these disputes on significant policy issues in a timely manner. BDS and PLANNING agree that they will seek resolution of these differences through the BCG. The BCG may use a variety of methods to resolve the issue including scheduling special meetings, charrettes, or using PLANNING’s discussion/decision meetings. If disagreements cannot be resolved through these means, a bureau may use a more formal resolution process as provided in Attachment F .
XI. Staff Development
BDS and PLANNING share the goal of providing staff with opportunities to expand their breadth of knowledge and advance their careers within the City. BDS and PLANNING will coordinate all recruitments for planner positions, provide ample time for their staff to transition to other bureaus, and strive to provide cross-training opportunities as described in Attachment G .
XII. Interactions with the Public
A. Requests to attend Neighborhood and Business Association Meetings. BDS and PLANNING staff who receive requests to attend community meetings will try to clarify in advance the purpose of the request and the most appropriate bureau to respond and attend. The staff that attends the meeting will provide updates on the discussion, if necessary, when questions/issues involving the other bureau’s areas of responsibility are raised in the meeting.
B. Development opportunities and requests for information about zoning or code application issues. BDS provides official information about the interpretation and application of the Zoning Code and provides recommendations on Land Use Reviews. PLANNING staff should refer inquiries regarding early assistance, permits or Land Use Review applications to BDS Land Use Coordination Manager, Rebecca Esau, and should not speculate on the results of any potential land use review or permit application. If there is an active or pending Land Use Review or permit, and PLANNING is interested in the project outcome and wants to discuss the project with BDS, the applicant, or the public, then BCG will be notified and the BDS planner assigned to the project will be invited to participate in those discussions.
C. Role of District Liaisons. PLANNING's District Liaisons are a point of contact for citizens on a variety of issues. They help to implement the City’s plans for specific areas. While they focus on land use and development issues, they strive to be familiar with all related issues in their districts. Because of this they will often play a facilitation or communication role between neighbors, businesses, developers, and City staff. In working with citizens, District Liaisons will seek to be clear in differentiating their role from the roles of other City staff. In the case of early coordination on upcoming development projects, the District Liaisons will work closely with BDS Planning & Zoning Manager, Sterling Bennett, to ensure the customer gets into the appropriate BDS Early Assistance program. In the case of pending or imminent development, the District Liaisons will work closely with the BDS planner assigned to the project. More specific agreements clarifying roles is contained in Attachment H .
D. Role of other PLANNING staff. When interacting with the public, on the subject of potential development, other PLANNING staff will coordinate closely with BDS staff as provided in C (above) and in Attachment H .
XIII. Updates and Amendments to this Agreement
PLANNING and BDS will review and amend this agreement upon mutual agreement when the need arises.
List of Attachments:
A Process for LongRange Planning, Legislative, and Code Development Projects
B Process for Impact Assessment
C Early Assistance, Land Use Reviews, and Permit Reviews
D Map Modification/Refinement Process
E Sharing Resources
F Agreed Methods of Conflict Resolution
G Staff Development
H Agreed Coordination Practices for Interactions with the Public
Attachment A : Process for Long Range Planning, Legislative, and Code Development Projects
Because PLANNING and BDS work on regulations and policies that affect the other bureau, the success of each bureau and its planning and code projects is dependent upon effective coordination. To achieve that coordination, the bureaus agree to adhere to the points outlined below.
1. Provide early information to the other bureau on planned code development or legislative planning projects. BDS will send a request for Planning assistance to Planning and correspondingly, Planning will send a request for BDS assistance via the Bureau Coordination Group (BCG). Assistance refers to things such as a request for input, project liaison, code review team participation, technical advisory group (TAG) members, and data retrieval.
2. Create and maintain a "tracking sheet" that identifies new, current, and ongoing legislative planning projects, their status, Planning staff contact, any BDS liaison assignment, and other similar information. Planning will maintain this "tracking sheet" and update it regularly.
3. Ensure clear communication and close coordination with each other using methods such as, (but not limited to):
a. Clarifying staff roles in each others’ projects;
b. Ensuring that assigned staff understand and follow the expectations of his/her bureau concerning internal coordination protocols;
c. Sending all drafts for BDS review through the BCG for proper distribution and providing an adequate number of copies for such review;
d. Providing adequate time for review of each others’ projects at each stage of development (in-house, discussion, proposed and recommended drafts, etc.) with the goal of having at least a 14-day comment period;
e. Including impact assessment considerations in all stages of project development, including requesting input from BDS on impact assessment issues;
f. Providing PLANNING with a single set of comments from BDS regardless of the number of internal BDS reviewers;
g. Coordinating closely with BDS staff about pending building permits or LURs in the area of study. This coordination will take place at the beginning of a legislative project, and before the final decision. In the interim, coordination about building permits and LURs will continue as appropriate.
h. Including, in addition to the provisions above, the other bureau in all formal comment periods.
4. Empower the Bureau Coordination Group (BCG) and Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package Group (RICAP Group) to be the main coordinating bodies between the bureaus. These groups will assure regular and ongoing communications and provide a forum for consensus building and timely decision making.
a. The RICAP Group will focus on the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Packages (RICAPs) and staffing the Regulatory Improvement Stakeholders Advisory Team (RISAT).
b. The BCG will focus on larger policy issues and general coordination topics.
5. Strive for consensus on Zoning Code legislative code change proposals, including RICAPs. Where consensus is not achieved and BDS has implementation issues, BDS will provide PLANNING with a written analysis of its concerns, identifying specific code conflicts, workload impacts, implementation problems, cost issues, etc. PLANNING will provide responses to BDS suggestions in writing, providing reasons for either accepting or rejecting recommended changes. Where BDS remains concerned about code proposals, its report of concerns will be presented to PLANNING staff no less than 10 days before the Planning Commission hearing and will be included in the materials provided to the Planning Commission. Where BDS has concerns about the Planning Commission’s recommendations, its report of concerns will be presented to PLANNING staff no less than 10 days before the City Council hearing. PLANNING and BDS will coordinate to ensure these materials are provided to the City Council. PLANNING will provide timely updates to BDS about changes to proposals that occur after document printings and through the Planning Commission and City Council hearings process. Unless the time frame established by the Planning Commission or City Council is too short, PLANNING will give BDS staff no less than 14 days to respond to new proposed code concepts, language or Zoning Map changes. During this period, impact assessment issues will also need to be reconsidered by both BDS and PLANNING.
6. Strive for consensus on non-Zoning Code legislative code change proposals. Where consensus is not achieved and PLANNING has policy issues, PLANNING will provide BDS with a written analysis of its concerns, identifying potential impacts of proposals on the Comprehensive Plan and City goals, policies, and objectives and any potential implications or conflicts with the Zoning Code. PLANNING may also provide feedback on community expectations and concerns. BDS will provide responses to PLANNING suggestions in writing, providing reasons for either accepting or rejecting recommended changes. Where PLANNING remains concerned about proposals, its report of concerns will be presented to BDS staff no less than 10 days before any hearing on the proposal and will be included in materials provided by BDS to the City Council or other decision-maker. BDS will provide timely updates to PLANNING about changes to proposals that occur after document printings and through the City Council hearings or other decision making process. Unless the time frame established by the City Council is too short, BDS will give PLANNING staff no less than 14 days to respond to new policy concepts, code language or Zoning Map changes. During this period, impact assessment issues will also need to be reconsidered by both BDS and PLANNING.
7. Continue to collaborate on the Regulatory Improvement Workplan (RIW). The specific responsibilities in the RIW that are assigned to each bureau are defined in Resolution No. 36162, which was passed by City Council on August 13, 2003. To implement the directives in this Resolution, BDS and PLANNING will:
a. Continue to utilize the RICAP projects because they have a proven track record as a vehicle for making both technical and clarifying amendments that improve the daily implementation of the Zoning Code. It is crucial to BDS that this aspect of the RIW continue. PLANNING agrees to strive to implement a RICAP project every six to nine months.
b. Annually negotiate an Interagency Agreement that specifies funding from BDS to PLANNING for the staff resources to assure that recommended code amendments that are of a technical and clarifying nature are included in the proposed RICAP projects, and are given adequate priority.
8. When amendments to Zoning Code chapters are proposed as part of a legislative planning project, relevant technical and clarifying amendments that are recommended by the BCG will be incorporated into the legislative proposal.
9. Because frequent and numerous changes to the Zoning Code require a significant investment of resources, create risk that incorrect information will be provided to the public, and make the development process more unpredictable, BDS and PLANNING will strive to set "effective" dates for code amendments to four dates each year regardless of when the amendments are adopted (the first day of February, May, August and November). These dates should be used unless there is some unusual situation and Council chooses a different effective date.
10. When a legislative or code development project results in extraordinary demands on a participating bureau, the lead bureau will develop budget requests to cover the extra time involved in a particular project and will develop an Interagency Agreement to fund the requested staff time in the other bureau.
11. BDS staff will assist PLANNING in informing the public about legislative projects and may provide information to customers about legislative proposals that may impact them. BDS may provide the customer with PLANNING contact information.
12. During the ongoing consideration of legislative projects, BDS staff will refer questions about implementation to the BCG for coordination with PLANNING. Questions that are raised, or differing staff interpretations of language under consideration, should be discussed with PLANNING via the BCG before responses are relayed to the public to avoid possible conflicts and potential future implementation problems.
13. BDS and PLANNING will coordinate on the adoption of Code changes that create a new land use review process so that the ordinance adopting the Code language is considered concurrently with the ordinance adopting the fee for the new land use review.
14. At least one week before the effective date of adopted Code changes, PLANNING project staff will train BDS staff on new regulations and provide any accompanying documents to assist in implementation. PLANNING will assist BDS with developing any materials needed in order to implement new plans and regulations. For changes that include new land use reviews or review procedures, to assure that BDS has adequate time to create new application forms, reprogram TRACS, create brochures, make changes to the website and other needed tasks, the training will occur at least one month before the effective date. PLANNING will provide code replacement pages to BDS at least one week before the effective date of the new Zoning Code changes. An exception to these timelines is made for any changes that are adopted by City Council through an emergency ordinance where the effective date is less than 30 days after adoption.
Both bureaus have agreed to coordinate with each other on proposed legislative and policy changes through the impact assessment process. To achieve such coordination, BDS and PLANNING agree to use the process outlined below:
1. For PLANNING legislative projects:
a. At the preliminary stages before any draft proposals are provided to the public, PLANNING will seek information from BDS on the concepts being considered, and the estimated costs, impacts and concerns related to each alternative being considered, and
b. As the project progresses, PLANNING will continue to seek information from BDS on the estimated costs, impacts and concerns related to BDS' implementation, inspection, and enforcement of any new regulations, including input on code clarity and complexity.
2. BDS will coordinate with PLANNING on the presentation of regulatory proposals to the Development Review Advisory Committee [DRAC]. BDS may incorporate the DRAC’s feedback in their response to PLANNING on impacts.
3. For BDS legislative projects:
a. BDS will seek information from PLANNING on potential impacts of proposals on the Comprehensive Plan, City goals, policies, and objectives, and the Zoning Code.
b. PLANNING staff will coordinate presentation of BDS regulatory proposals to the Planning Commission, as appropriate, and will incorporate the Planning Commission’s feedback in their response to BDS on impacts.
Attachment C : Early Assistance, Land Use Reviews, and Permit Reviews
While BDS is responsible for administering the Zoning Code in its application to property, land use review applications, and permit applications, BDS and PLANNING will coordinate and share information as detailed below.
1. BDS will send all pre-application notices, land use review notices, and decisions to Technical Services Manager, Gary Odenthal, who will distribute them to appropriate planning staff.
2. PLANNING staff will strive to give advance notice to the BDS Pre-App Coordinator when they plan to attend a pre-app meeting. PLANNING staff will be clear whether their comments or suggestions are aspirational or policy requirements.
3. If PLANNING staff wish to comment on a land use review, they will contact the BCG. PLANNING members of BCG will make sure that responses represent the views of PLANNING as a whole.
4. PLANNING will follow the turnaround time stated in the notice when responding to land use reviews. PLANNING will notify BCG and the assigned BDS case planner early in the comment period if significant issues are identified.
5. When PLANNING wishes to pursue discussion about aspirational goals and objectives relating to current land use review or building permit applications, they will contact BDS Land Use Coordination Manager, Rebecca Esau. The BDS Land Use Coordination Manager will then arrange a meeting with the appropriate participants.
6. If PLANNING is dissatisfied with how BDS is implementing the Zoning Code and the results in the field, they will contact the BCG to begin discussions on resolving the issue.
This pilot project addresses requests for map changes to the environmental overlay zones. Customers requesting a map error correction will be given two options described below. The intent is to direct customers to the Type II procedure described in Option 1.
This option is the Type II environmental zone boundary modification process described in 33.430.210-250. Utilizing this option from the outset allows the customer to achieve a determination without restarting the process, and it has a defined review period. This option requires an application fee and it also allows for a broader range of outcomes than Option 2.
During the pilot period, PLANNING and BDS will work together to provide appropriate materials such as explanatory handouts or application packets, and to provide adequate training for BDS staff for this option.
This option is the map error correction process as described in Map Error Correction Process, Revised January 5, 2006. This option does not require an application fee and it is not subject to a defined review period. The January 5, 2006, agreement describes roles, responsibilities, and procedures for each bureau for processing map error correction requests. PLANNING will strive to research map error correction requests, and provide a recommendation to BDS in a timely manner.
It is useful and efficient for BDS and PLANNING to continue to share resources in several areas. The details of these arrangements are listed below:
1. PLANNING will continue to provide support (development, modification, and training) of GARTH desktop GIS application, including:
a. Updating of GARTH data, publishing quarter section Zoning Maps (for both bureaus depending on legislative or quasi-judicial changes);
b. Assist in developing specifications and testing for new ArcMap applications notices, site maps, and LUR history (as developed by CGIS); and
c. Providing ad hoc mapping and analysis services to BDS as needed and negotiated.
PLANNING will continue to provide space on the Planning server to keep PDFs of all historic resource information. BDS will continue to provide staff resources to keep this information up to date.
2. BDS will continue to share the use of the color printer in return for the occasional use of the plotter for large map requests.
3. The BDS GIS representative will:
a. Continue to capture land use history data to use for updating GARTH;
b. Continue to provide line work for zone changes, comp plan changes, and zone error corrections resulting from land use reviews;
c. Continue to take requests to produce custom mapping and analysis at the level of ability required. This relieves PLANNING from taking time for the more basic requests; and
d. Train BDS staff to use the new ArcMap application for mapping, history collection, and mailing lists.
4. BDS will continue to provide ad hoc TRACS reports as needed and negotiated.
5. PLANNING and BDS will continue to share resources needed to maintain the shared fourth floor copy room and kitchen.
When disagreements arise between PLANNING and BDS, the two bureaus agree that they will seek resolution of these differences through the Bureau Coordination Group (BCG). If the BCG, using a variety of methods, is unable to resolve the dispute, the more formal resolution process provided below may be used.
1. Resolving Delays in Development Review.
On March 17, 2004, the City Council passed Ordinance No. 178254, that adopted a process by which development review delays can be resolved, especially when they involve multiple City development review bureaus. BDS and PLANNING will participate in the process resolution as outlined in the Ordinance. The BDS Director will initiate and direct the process resolution as outlined in the Ordinance.
2. Other Issues.
Disagreements regarding the development of new Zoning Code language, Comprehensive Plan policies, objectives and goals, Zoning Map changes, or other long range planning documents will be addressed as follows:
A bureau, after attempting to resolve concerns at the staff level, including the BCG, may request that the Planning Director resolve the disagreement or dispute:
a. The Planning Director will schedule a meeting with the directors of the affected bureaus to resolve the conflict, including the City Attorney’s office as appropriate. This may be done through the Planning and Development Directors Group or a delegated subgroup.
b. In resolving policy disputes, the Planning Director may accept the bureaus’ proposed resolution or may issue a different determination, working together with the other bureaus to try to achieve consensus.
c. The Planning Director will ensure that the other bureaus have the opportunity to present areas of disagreement to the Planning Commission and the City Council.
BDS and PLANNING will coordinate recruitments, provide time for staff to transition between bureaus, and provide cross-training opportunities as described below.
1. Hiring process. PLANNING and BDS will coordinate all recruitments for Planner positions and will discuss any openings with each other before posting. Each bureau will be able to review and comment on job descriptions created by the other bureau and will work to include any input in final versions. Each bureau must offer the opportunity for the other bureau to participate in reviewing applications and interviewing candidates for open positions and promotional opportunities. PLANNING and BDS management will encourage staff to apply for opportunities in each others’ bureaus.
2. Transition periods. For staff moving from one bureau to the other, transition periods will be negotiated to allow for the smoothest transfer of responsibilities and completion of work products.
3. Cross-Training and Job Shadowing. BDS and PLANNING will strive to provide cross-training opportunities for employees. Each bureau will designate a cross-training coordinator. The coordinators together to develop, implement, and monitor a variety of cross-training opportunities. In general the cross-training will last 3-4 months at four hours per week and hours worked will be charged to the trainee’s bureau unless alternatives are approved by both bureaus. Periodically, management from each bureau will check in with the cross-training coordinators and participants (trainers and trainees) to get input on how the program can be improved.
4. Additional Staff Development Opportunities. Management from PLANNING and BDS will work together to develop additional cross-training options for staff in both bureaus including methods that could accommodate larger groups of trainees.
Attachment H : Agreed Coordination Practices for Interactions with the Public
The planners in each bureau will coordinate with each other on interactions with the public, as described below.
1. The goal is to have close cooperation and coordination between PLANNING’s District Liaisons and BDS’s Land Use Coordination Manager, Rebecca Esau. As such, while District Liaisons will be sending potential developments to BDS’s Early Assistance program via the Land Use Coordination Manager, at the initial stages of the project, they will remain involved and informed as the project progresses.
2. The different roles of PLANNING and BDS are often confused by the public. To help clarify the different roles, PLANNING and BDS will work together to create a one-page handout or brochure explaining the differences between liaison and early assistance roles. This handout or brochure will be available in the DevelopmentServicesCenter and will be used by PLANNING or BDS staff in their daily interaction with the public as warranted.
3. One of the main responsibilities of District Liaisons is to foster communication and understanding between the public and various parts of City and regional government. Because of this, their actions could be misinterpreted as advocating for a specific point of view. While it is not their role to be advocates in these situations, in order to facilitate communication, they may need to act as “interpreters” for various parties. In these situations they should repeatedly clarify their role to avoid misunderstandings.
4. It is important that the District Liaisons and BDS planners coordinate early, and avoid giving conflicting information to the public. For example, if a PLANNING staff member is asked by a member of the public to provide general information about the legislative intent of past legislative projects, the District Liaison should find out if the question is related to a specific development project. If it is, the District Liaison will discuss the project with the appropriate BDS staff before getting back to the citizen.
5. It is important that PLANNING's District Liaisons not have conversations with developers about specific development projects or properties without including appropriate BDS staff.
6. When PLANNING staff are working on a project that may result in changes to the Zoning Map, they should be aware of any recently approved or pending LURs or development permits. To do this efficiently, BDS will give appropriate PLANNING staff access rights to TRACs and training on how to get information and reports from TRACs. Until this access and training can be accomplished, PLANNING staff will send requests for TRACs information to Char Sharkey in BDS.
Signed by Bureau of Planning Director July 21, 2004.
Signed by Bureau of Development Services Director July 21, 2004.
Filed by Bureau of Development Services for inclusion in PPD September 29, 2004.
Amended by Bureau of Planning and Bureau of Development Services Directors August 13, 2007.
Amended rule filed by Bureau of Development Services for inclusion in PPD November 19, 2007.