GOAL 1: CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT
To develop a citizen involvement program that insures the opportunity for citizens to be involved in all phases of the planning process.
The governing body charged with preparing and adopting a comprehensive plan shall adopt and publicize a program for citizen involvement that clearly defines the procedures by which the general public will be involved in the on-going land-use planning process.
The citizen involvement program shall be appropriate to the scale of the planning effort. The program shall provide for continuity of citizen participation and of information that enables citizens to identify and comprehend the issues.
Federal, state and regional agencies, and special- purpose districts shall coordinate their planning efforts with the affected governing bodies and make use of existing local citizen involvement programs established by counties and cities.
The citizen involvement program shall incorporate the following components:
- Citizen Involvement — To provide for widespread citizen involvement.
The citizen involvement program shall involve a cross-section of affected citizens in all phases of the planning process. As a component, the program for citizen involvement shall include an officially recognized committee for citizen involvement (CCI) broadly representative of geographic areas and interests related to land use and land-use decisions. Committee members shall be selected by an open, well-publicized public process.
The committee for citizen involvement shall be responsible for assisting the governing body with the development of a program that promotes and enhances citizen involvement in land-use planning, assisting in the implementation of the citizen involvement program, and evaluating the process being used for citizen involvement.
If the governing body wishes to assume the responsibility for development as well as adoption and implementation of the citizen involvement program or to assign such responsibilities to a planning commission, a letter shall be submitted to the Land Conservation and Development Commission for the state Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee’s review and recommendation stating the rationale for selecting this option, as well as indicating the mechanism to be used for an evaluation of the citizen involvement program. If the planning commission is to be used in lieu of an independent CCI, its members shall be selected by an open, well-publicized public process.
- Communication — To assure effective two-way communication with citizens. Mechanisms shall be established which provide for effective communication between citizens and elected and appointed officials.
- Citizen Influence — To provide the opportunity for citizens to be involved in all phases of the planning process.
Citizens shall have the opportunity to be involved in the phases of the planning process as set forth and defined in the goals and guidelines for Land Use Planning, including Preparation of Plans and Implementation Measures, Plan Content, Plan Adoption, Minor Changes and Major Revisions in the Plan, and Implementation Measures.
- Technical Information — To assure that technical information is available in an understandable form.
Information necessary to reach policy decisions shall be available in a simplified, understandable form.
Assistance shall be provided to interpret and effectively use technical information. A copy of all technical information shall be available at a local public library or other location open to the public.
- Feedback Mechanisms — To assure that citizens will receive a response from policy-makers.
Recommendations resulting from the citizen involvement program shall be retained and made available for public assessment. Citizens who have participated in this program shall receive a response from policy-makers. The rationale used to reach land-use policy decisions shall be available in the form of a written record.
- Financial Support — To insure funding for the citizen involvement program.
Adequate human, financial, and informational resources shall be allocated for the citizen involvement program. These allocations shall be an integral component of the planning budget. The governing body shall be responsible for obtaining and providing these resources.
- A program for stimulating citizen involvement should be developed using a range of available media (including television, radio, newspapers, mailings and meetings).
- Universities, colleges, community colleges, secondary and primary educational institutions and other agencies and institutions with interests in land-use planning should provide information on land-use education to citizens, as well as develop and offer courses in land-use education which provide for a diversity of educational backgrounds in land-use planning.
- In the selection of members for the committee for citizen involvement, the following selection process should be observed: citizens should receive notice they can understand of the opportunity to serve on the CCI; committee appointees should receive official notification of their selection; and committee appointments should be well publicized.
Newsletters, mailings, posters, mail-back questionnaires, and other available media should be used in the citizen involvement program.
- Data Collection – The general public through the local citizen involvement programs should have the opportunity to be involved in inventorying, recording, mapping, describing, analyzing and evaluating the elements necessary for the development of the plans.
- Plan Preparation – The general public, through the local citizen involvement programs, should have the opportunity to participate in developing a body of sound information to identify public goals, develop policy guidelines, and evaluate alternative land conservation and development plans for the preparation of the comprehensive land-use plans.
- Adoption Process – The general public, through the local citizen involvement programs, should have the opportunity to review and recommend changes to the proposed comprehensive land-use plans prior to the public hearing process to adopt comprehensive land-use plans.
- Implementation – The general public, through the local citizen involvement programs, should have the opportunity to participate in the development, adoption, and application of legislation that is needed to carry out a comprehensive land-use plan.
The general public, through the local citizen involvement programs, should have the opportunity to review each proposal and application for a land conservation and development action prior to the formal consideration of such proposal and application.
- Evaluation – The general public, through the local citizen involvement programs, should have the opportunity to be involved in the evaluation of the comprehensive land use plans.
- Revision – The general public, through the local citizen involvement programs, should have the opportunity to review and make recommendations on proposed changes in comprehensive land-use plans prior to the public hearing process to formally consider the proposed changes.
- Agencies that either evaluate or implement public projects or programs (such as, but not limited to, road, sewer, and water construction, transportation, subdivision studies, and zone changes) should provide assistance to the citizen involvement program. The roles, responsibilities and timeline in the planning process of these agencies should be clearly defined and publicized.
- Technical information should include, but not be limited to, energy, natural environment, political, legal, economic and social data, and places of cultural significance, as well as those maps and photos necessary for effective planning.
- At the onset of the citizen involvement program, the governing body should clearly state the mechanism through which the citizens will receive a response from the policy-makers.
- A process for quantifying and synthesizing citizens’ attitudes should be developed and reported to the general public.
- The level of funding and human resources allocated to the citizen involvement program should be sufficient to make citizen involvement an integral part of the planning process.