Diversification of Planning & Zoning Activities

Presentation given during the Summer 2009 GAZA conference

by Lee Carmon, AICP

Planning Director

Northeast Georgia Regional Commission


A Different King of Recession

- May be longer;

- May be farther-reaching; but -

- There will be a recovery


Best Practices in Downsizing

- Must have immediate plan to get through the downturn

- Must have forward-looking plan to ascertain what your department will look like post-recession


Factors Used in Downsizing Choices

- Eliminate most recently hired

- Eliminate certain number / percent of staff

- Eliminate contract, contingent, part-time positions

- Refer to accurate, up-to-date performance review

- Identify core / critical positions and cut non- core / critical


Five Key Dos if You are Facing Layoffs

- Identify the work that is core to providing services

- Identify the competencies needed to execute goals

- Protect your bottom line and brand

- Constantly communicate with employees

- Pay attention to the survivors


Use Downturn as Opportunity

- Provides more internal opportunity for remaining staff:

     - Ensure depth in the right skill sets

     - Provide breadth to employees areas of expertise

- Use downtime for training, development, implement technology to become more productive


Diversification Ideas

- Go electronic

- Review / update ordinances

- Help the assessors

     - Reevaluate cell towers (structural upgrades, co-locations)

     - Billboard upgrades

- GIS data updates

- Take on permitting duties for non-planning / zoning related permits

- Coordinate local reviews of newly created Digital Flood Insurance Rate maps.

- Database development (historical to current)

     - Rezoning

     - Special use permits

     - Variances

     - Development construction

     - Final Plat information

- Work with local banks / FDIC to verify stages of development of distressed properties.

- Take GPS points of every structure in the jurisdiction to verify location and address

- Developing an oral history project on the city / county. Interview county's life-long residents, gather historical photos, to put on city / county website.