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Public Input is Bad, Actually: Designing Effective Land Use Public Processes

September 9, 2022 2:30 pm
2022 Fall Conference

The title for this session comes from a recent piece in The Atlantic magazine, and probably jibes with the way many planners feel about land use public hearings. The story’s author says about such hearings, “the process is fundamentally flawed: It’s biased toward the status quo and privileges a small group of residents who for reasons that range from the sympathetic to the selfish don’t want to allow projects that are broadly useful.”

In a paper titled OVERPARTICIPATION: DESIGNING EFFECTIVE PUBLIC PROCESSES, Yale Law School Professor Anika Singh Lemar says, “Integrating community engagement into an effective administrative process requires addressing the various ways in which existing public participation processes have failed to serve their purported goals.” This session will look at the processes we currently use for public input on land use decisions, and propose a new model in an effort to balance public input, legal standards, and expertise



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