Blogging for America

Occupy Planning Dept

8:00 am: People trickle in one by one.

A woman is starting a personal training business. She draws her floor plan on the back of a land use form. The city takes the plan though it is missing a dimension.

The municipal code is in a three ring binder. It and the GIS (mapping with information layered on top) are consulted regularly.

10:00 am: There’s a one person wait.

A man wants to add a deck to his home. The GIS shows he is in a butterfly zone and will need to do a special survey. He is assured it’s not really a hurdle, so long as he doesn’t want to add a fireplace.

11:45 am: Waiting room is full, people have to stand.

A real estate broker wants to know if a perspective buyer can build a garage, gazebo, or deck.

Graphic designer pays her zoning fee with a tastefully designed check.

Public hours are over.

1:30 pm: Weekly staff meeting.

Carrot cake is served.

GIS and zoning info is projected on the wall as plans are dissected.

“The building was much cuter before. What happened?”
“It’s been value engineered before it’s even been approved.”
“Tell them we can’t approve it. It is not harmonious in form and proportion.”
Laughter followed by a plan to discuss code violations with the builder.

Twiddle = two-way left turn lane aka “Suicide lane”

“Signalize intersection” is said seven times and a planning angel gets their wings.

 

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