Approval Process

Public Comment

What Is a Planning Commission?

Planning commissions fill an influential advisory role in planning processes, maintaining citizen oversight of government planning powers and also providing a public forum for debate about the future of communities.

May 24, 2022 - James Brasuell

A typical American shopping center, with a thrift store at one end and a parking lot full of cars.

One Maryland Thrift Store: 40 Pages of Zoning Documentation

A writer for Strong Towns offers a case study of "the byzantine development process" of many municipalities in the United States.

March 17, 2022 - Strong Towns

Single-Family Housing Construction

What Is an Entitlement?

In the context of planning and development, an entitlement is the legal agreement between a government and a landowner to allow a proposed development.

February 22, 2022 - James Brasuell

Colorado

What Is Discretionary Approval?

Discretionary approval requires an appointed or elected body of officials to decide whether or not to proceed with a development. Discretionary approval is usually reserved for development proposals that don't conform to zoning or building codes, but other regulatory triggers can also create the need for a discretionary approval process.

February 8, 2022 - James Brasuell

A sunny day in San Francisco, with a view of the city skyline with the Easy Bay Hills in the background.

Development Streamlining Proposal Dies in San Francisco

The doomed effort was Mayor London Breed's third attempt to streamline development in the city.

January 31, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

An image of stadium seats at Petco Park in San Diego, with new buildings under construction nearby in the background.

What Is a Development Approval Process?

A development approval process decides whether or not to allow a proposed development project to proceed with construction. There is plenty of room for interpretation, both legal and political, about what a development approval process can or should entail.

January 27, 2022 - James Brasuell

City by the Bay

State Audit Faults California's Affordable Housing Development Processes

The California State Auditor's office is proposing an overhaul of the state's approach to affordable housing development, citing the cost burdens of the housing market as proof of the necessity for change.

November 18, 2020 - Auditor of the State of California

New Jersey Power Plant

Landmark Environmental Justice Law Signed in New Jersey

New Jersey is now home to one of the "most stringent" environmental justice laws in the country.

September 30, 2020 - Next City

Skid Row Los Angeles

Lack of Federal and State Subsidies Slow Homeless Housing Development in L.A.

Developments funded by Los Angeles' Proposition HHH homeless housing bond has been delayed for three key reasons.

July 10, 2020 - Los Angeles Times

Philadelphia Street

Proposed Law Would Require Community Benefits Negotiations for 'High Impact' Projects in Philadelphia

A recently proposed law would attempt to force developers and neighborhood projects to the table to negotiate large projects in the city of Philadelphia.

June 19, 2019 - PlanPhilly

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

International Real Estate Strategies and Deal Negotiation

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.