Planning Commission

Planning Commission Summary Guidelines


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Watch a recording of a previous meeting, a Planning Commission meeting in the San Diego, California jurisdiction. USE THE TEMPLATE* Respond thoroughly and thoughtfully to each of the questions, in order, as set out in the template. I am looking for you to demonstrate that you understand how the actions and discussion reflect (or do not) the technical elements of California land use planning, AND that you are making the larger connections to the cultural, economic, and social dimensions and impacts of land use planning.


Assignments will be evaluated using the following criteria:

Presentation: grammar, syntax, spelling, composition

Form: structure and format

Content: quality of research, depth of analysis, coverage of the topic, adherence to assignment requirements

Timeliness: late papers will be marked down 10 points for each day they are late up to a maximum 50-point deduction.


All assignments must adhere to the following:

Typewritten in 12-point font with 1” margins;

Double-spaced and paginated;

Properly cite all sources using MLA citation and providing link to outside material

Submit all assignments online as a Word document (.doc).


In the first paragraph, describe the planning environment in San Diego. What are some of the important trends, developments, land use issues, plan or zoning changes, lawsuits, or recent events that form the context for the planning commission’s actions?  Get this from news reports or other public sources (Google is your friend here)


Second paragraph: Summarize the overall agenda for the meeting. What were the types of issues or applications discussed (e.g., CEQA, development approvals, policy issues, plan updates, zoning changes, etc.)?  Were there topics or actions that were general or informational in nature, in addition to applications for development approval?

Next two-three paragraphs, choose one item that was considered, and describe the process.  First, describe the specific action that was considered (if there was an action) – was it advisory, approval, forwarding a policy or approval to the council? BE SPECIFIC!

Next, describe the discussion that took place.  Who were the parties involved?  Who specifically made a presentation, or otherwise led the discussion?  What kinds of comments were made?  Were there, for example, people speaking in opposition to a policy?  Did some planning commission members or staff take a particularly important role?  If so, who? BE SPECIFIC!

[Finally, describe the larger planning issues that were discussed, whether these were discussed directly or alluded to by the participants.  Were there, as examples, issues of authority, discretion vs. property rights, housing supply, community change, aesthetics, or equity? Did members, for example, comment on the limits of their authority, or the pros and cons of their ordinance?  Were policy issues raised directly, indirectly, or not at all?]


Finally, sum up your assessment of the meeting and process.  You may use first-person (“I”, “me,” “mine,” etc.) in this paragraph and this paragraph only.  How would you characterize the quality and content of the debate?  Did you hear thoughtful reflection on land use planning, or were people unproductive?  How well was the meeting managed?  Do you feel that under-represented people or those who are fearful of speaking in public would be able to make their input effectively?  What did you take away from the meeting about the land use planning process?


**You may use four pages, using this template. No less or no more than four!**


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