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.

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Please note: The Summer 2021 Conference will be Wednesday August 18th to Friday August 20th, 2021 at the Lake Lanier Islands Resort.