Long-Range Planning Performance Standards
Dear Management Doctor:
Good afternoon! The City of Kent is trying to come up with some performance standards that are relevant to long-range planning; we were wondering if in your travels you have come across some city's or county's website we might check out for ideas. It's easy to come up with permitting standards, but we're having a tough time on the long-range planning side of the aisle. Thanks much for any references you can provide!
I don't have any website references, but I do have a few ideas. Sunnyvale, California has been the gurus of all types of performance standards. They came up with a very simple standard for long-range planning. They said that they would complete 100% of what they told the city council they were going to do in their work program — I like it. This however addresses what many consider an intermediate outcome and not an end outcome. The end outcomes are much tougher and relate to your overall planning goals. For example, they might include:
Let's see what our readers can add.
The Management Doctor
There are various ways that I have seen communities address this
issue in Florida and of course they come out of the approach that
creates the long range plan. The one that I find intriguing is
the City of Sarasota's that has guiding principles upon which
the long range plan is developed and then assessed. State law
requires evaluation of long range plans here every five to seven
years and this is how the performance of the plan is assessed.
Check out this website: www.sarasotagov.com/Planning/LongRange/LongRangeHP.html
The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission, a long-range comprehensive planning agency serving four local governments and the Metropolitan Planning Organization, has been engaged in identifying and publishing performance standards for a number of years, dating back to the late 1980's/early 1990's.
One of the best things to do to enable performance measurement is to put measuring tools into place that the planning agency can later use to gauge actual performance against a standard, for example:
Some of the long-range planning measures we have used are along the lines of what the Management Doctor has suggested:
Administrative-type planning agency measures we have used:
The Planning Commission website is www.theplanningcommission.org. I hope this will be of assistance, and I would be glad to answer any questions Ms. Anderson might have.
Barbara L. Leiby
EarthCAT, at www.earthcat.org/workbook.php provides links (in the appendices, page 197) to other community websites that focus on a) sustainability, b) indicators, and/or c) implementing the long-term vision of the community.
Redmond is working toward establishing a community indicators program, the purpose of which is to assess the extent to which Redmond is meeting its goals as laid out in its recently updated Comprehensive Plan, and as specified through Plan policies. The indicators are not relevant to only long-range planning, but to the city as a whole, although the Comprehensive Planning Division is taking the lead in developing the program. We are choosing indicators that will change over time and give a comprehensive snapshop of Redmond as time goes on. Draft examples include:
Also see Kirkland's updated Comprehensive Plan for a listing of implementation items relevant to long-range planning.
Contact Lori Peckol (lpeckol@redmond. gov); 425-556-2411 or me for more information.
I'd like to share some thoughts in regard to the question from Washington about long-range plan measures. In Florida, there is a requirement for what is called an Evaluation and Appraisal Report, or EAR, performed every five to seven years to evaluate if the long-range plan objectives are being implemented, if they reflect recent changes mandated by new legislation and if not, what needs to be changed, and other issues like tracking where development actually got approved versus where the plan was supposed to encourage the growth to occur, geographically speaking.
The EAR requirements are part of Ch. 163, Part II, Florida Statutes, which can be found online. The Florida Department of Community Affairs (FDCA) administers the review of EAR review and the EAR really acts as a platform for the planning agency to build upon for their next ten-year plan update, (i.e., with formal amendments to the plan usually due within a year or so after the EAR).
Aside from this periodic effort, measuring plan outcomes do need to be broken down into manageable pieces such as may be created in a Work Program, which our city has as part of its Certification Program (we are one of two communities in the State certified by the FDCA for comprehensive planning). One of your suggested measures about looking at if the implementing ordinances are in place and up-to-date is key. That is what we call our Land Development Regulations or Code, including zoning standards. If that code is not reflecting standards and regulations that are helping to implement the plan, the evaluation of the Code and what has to be added or changed can be as important or more than what you change in the long-range plan. Lastly, if the community has participated in and adopted a Vision Plan, very popular now in Florida, how well does the Comprehensive/Long-Range Plan reflect that vision? Where it falls short can help you establish the Work Program mentioned above.