Might you be good on the City Planning Commission?

You just might!

When I was a teen, I complained about many things. As teens do! My mom gave me a talk I’ve never forgotten–you can’t really complain about something if you’re not trying to fix it.

Nowadays, I mostly just avoid complaining to my mom, BUT we’d all do well to take her advice. And I bet a whole lot of you have found yourself complaining about the City, its missteps, its lack of steps, its whatever-else steps. And that’s fine! It’s the mark of an engaged citizen. But if you’d like to take it to the next level, consider joining the Planning Commission!

Right now, there are two vacancies in this Very Important Commission, and they need to be filled by specific types of people.

The commission consists of nine members:

  • City Council member
  • Board of Zoning Appeals member
  • The City’s CAO
  • And six regular citizens

It’s two of those regular citizens whose terms are up now, so that means you–yes, you!–could be eligible!

Unless you’re the Mayor reading this, in which case you are not eligible!

What exactly does the Planning Commission do?

From their official website:

The Commission shall adopt a master plan; preserve historical landmarks and control the design and location of statuary and other works of art, consider and suggest the design of harbors, bridges, viaducts, airport, stadium, arenas, swimming pools, street fixtures and other public structures and appurtenances; review proposed capital improvement projects and recommend changes to Council; review capital budget recommendations, consult with City Manager, department heads and hold public hearings it shall need necessary; prepare and submit to Council a Zoning Plan.

Swimming pools and viaducts, y’all! And just about everything else.

Important note

One of these new officials will be appointed to be a liaison to the Urban Design Committee, so if you’ve got urban design in your personal toolkit, it’s a safe assumption that your application would raise eyebrows. But like in a good, “Oh fantastic, we need one of those,” moves.

When do they meet?

Twice a month on first and third Mondays at 1:30 PM. Sounds like a wicked good excuse to get out of work, although if you’re the kind of person who likes to weasel their way out of work, I’m not sure I want you on the Planning Commission.

How long would your term be?

Three years.

How do you apply?

Use your internet to go here and click on “Apply” on the left. Or, submit it in paper form, if you must (PDF).

Then, you’ll get a confirmation that will tell you when your application is being considered at a standing committee meeting, and it’s in your best interest to go to that meeting.

If you pass the committee, they’ll move you right along to the City Council, whom I sure hope you haven’t angered at some point in your life, because your fate is now in their hands.

At a Formal Meeting, they’ll make motions and decisions, and then you’ll be notified “via email or mail.”

So, basically, you fill out an application and wait.

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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