Creating an Impressive Planning Commission Document

One of the many benefits I have working for my current employer is the opportunity to work with other staff members who excel in their profession. And even though they impress me on a daily basis, this week I was totally blown away by the awesome job our city planner did on his report to the planning commission for the hearing held this Thursday. So I wanted to share it here with everyone as an example of how a standard, sometimes perceived as perhaps “boring” document, can be transformed into an attractive, easy to read, engaging, and helpful document. Our city planner said that now he has the template in place, creating each document is not that much more work than setting up one in the old format.

In this particular packet, there were two applications: one for a change in the uses allowed in a zoning district and another from the city itself asking for a zoning change and a special use for a specific property. I like how the beginning of each application has a summary of who the applicant is, the location and owners of the property, the request, and the recommendation. And I think our planner has done a great job with the layout using text and images to explain the background, request, and recommendation. It’s a great example of how with just a little bit more work, creativity, willingness to change traditional formats, and attention to detail, we can change even the most common government documents into more attractive and understandable reports.

Geneva Planning Commission Packet 09-8-11


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