Planning Work Continues (Remotely) Amid Pandemic

While cities may be shut down, city planners have not turned off the lights. Planning departments around California, which is mostly on lockdown, have resorted to working from home. Long-range planning could even benefit.

March 25, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

By Josh Stephens @jrstephens310


Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock

"With the governor’s orders, planning 'counters,' where minor and small-scale applications are processed, have physically closed. Most departments are not holding any in-person meetings with customers. But the relatively recent advent of electronic processing may mean that some customers will not even notice the shutdown. They just have to upload the proper documents on departments’ web-based portals—no human contact needed."

"While applications are sure to fall, at least in the short term, while applications for everything from high rises to accessory dwelling units are slowed by the shutdown, department officials say that many planners have at least a few weeks' worth to keep them busy in the near term. If applications do not pick up, departments may shift their attention to the long-term — and to projects that have been lingering but not getting the attention they may have deserved."

Monday, March 23, 2020 in California Planning & Development Report

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