Ethics for Small Town Planning

What You'll Learn

  • Hear examples of ethics issues unique to small communities.
  • Gain more knowledge of ethics requirements in the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
  • Learn how to recognize emerging conflicts of interest.

More Course Details

This session explores the ethical issues facing planners in a small jurisdiction or rural area. The small-town and rural setting results in unavoidable opportunities for close relationships among all of the parties working on a development — from staff to elected and appointed officials to the developer. These relationships often cross the line into personal and family ties.

The small-town planner has ample opportunity to get entangled in ethical dilemmas because of the small size of the planning staff and the size of the community. In many cases there may be no one else with expertise and sufficient distance from an application to remove ethical issues. How can the AICP planner deal with these issues in a manner consistent with the AICP Code of Ethics?

Speakers discuss their experiences with these ethical dilemmas. Examples include incidents with elected officials, ex parte communication and planning commissioners, confidential information about potential land development that is not for public knowledge, and how to walk the line between ethical and unethical behavior.