"The recession has smothered demand for reviewing subdivision blueprints, allowing planners more time for long-range work that helps determine whether a city grows well or becomes a sprawling target for ridicule.
Several planners say the construction slowdown presents a perfect time to get ready for the rebound. But fewer planners are left with each round of layoffs."
Cities like Modesto, Oakdale and Turlock have eliminate planning positions to help save money. Those layoffs have reduced people power and pushed back some planning projects.