Summary of a Planning Report

 Summary of a Planning Report

The purpose of Assignment  is to familiarize you with the type of document that many

planners must write on a regular basis as part of their jobs. Completing this assignment will help

to acquaint you with some of the vocabulary that planners use, the format and typical content of

planning reports, the means by which a particular planning application is dealt with, and how

planners go about making their recommendations to elected officials (the ultimate decisionmakers when it comes to planning-related matters).

A planning report is a document that succinctly presents information relevant to a proposed

planning and development activity in order that local decision-makers (normally a planning

committee or local municipal council, or both) can make informed decisions. The report

typically includes a synopsis of the proposed activity (such as building a new high-rise hotel or

residential subdivision, expanding a parking lot, or dividing one parcel of land into two), an

assessment of how well the proposal reflects good planning principles and serves to promote the

public good (or at least not harm it), a summary of other stakeholders opinions about the

proposal, and the planners recommendation to council about approving or not approving the


In completing this assignment, you should start off by looking through several different

planning reports on your home municipalitys website or that of another municipality (you can

pick anywhere it doesnt have to be your hometown). Most typically these are found in the

section of a municipal website where the local government posts the Agenda and Minutes of

Council Meetings or other committee meetings. It may take you a bit of time to find them, but

this is intended to be a part of the assignment. It is crucial that you learn to be resourceful as a

planner and that you know where to find necessary information. Therefore, please do not give up

on finding a report after only a few minutes of looking; instead, engage in your learning by

taking the time to search for it properly!

Once you find a planning report (ideally, one that interests you), download it and read it

thoroughly. Look closely at the planners style of writing, his/her tone of voice, and the

vocabulary he/she uses. Consider also the various forms of legislation and commonly accepted

planning principles against which he/she assesses the merits and faults of the proposed planning

activity. Make note of how other stakeholders (if any) have reacted to the proposal, either

positively or negatively. Finally, consider the recommendation that the planner reviewing this

file has given to the planning committee or municipal council. Once you have done this, write a

three-to-five-page paper in which you summarize the planning report in your own words.

The main point here is for you to demonstrate that you understood the planning issue at

hand, the specific proposal, and how it was evaluated by one or more planners.

The paper should be double-spaced, use a 12-point font, and have 1 margins on all sides.