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The Lighterside of City Planning CA

Gus Romo Development director

City planning is the nucleus of a community where residents with different views on politics regarding California land use can voice their opinions to their local city council and planning commission meeting.

Do a search on YouTube on planning commission or city council meetings to get a wide variety of videos basically showing the good, the bad, and the ugly in city politics.

There are news stories abound about controversial land projects being opposed by citizens, environmental activists, and housing watchdog groups.

This is not one of them, this is the lighter side of city planning California.

In a small city hall during a planning commission meeting a citizen from the audience uses their three minutes of open public comments time to give their opinion for or against a project or ask a question.

The citizens question was, “Excuse me, what is a cup? You have been saying it all night.”

A project being proposed and being brought forward to the planning commission and citizens was asking for a cup or conditional use permit.

Throughout the meeting only the acronym for a conditional use permit was being referred to – a cup.

Its humorful to see where the confusion was. A city planner forgot their audience for a moment and used language average citizens are not or should be familiar with.

Lesson learned was in any profession, be it urban planning or a short order cook, make sure the people you are communicating understand what’s being talked about.

Later I reached out to Baldwin Park's Community Development Director Gus Romo (at the time) and shared what I saw and asked if he had come across that in his career, the use of an urban planning acronym being overused or not explained to the general public.

Gus Romo development director gave me a good bit of advice I can only paraphrase, as being to the mind of always explain in layman’s terms, especially in city planning.

Thanks for reading, Land Planning 411


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