What to Discuss With a Town Planner Before Undertaking a Major Development

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Many developers would do well to work with a town planner before undertaking any type of major development, such as building an entire subdivision or a retail center. As a developer, you may work with a landscape architect, engineer, and other such professionals, but not realize the role of a town planner. Note what they do and the things to discuss with them before your development even begins, so you know it will be something you can easily present to future tenants or other investors.


Any new development will typically mean more traffic in one area, and a town planner can alert you as to how your development will increase or otherwise affect nearby traffic and congestion. In turn, they may then recommend to the city council the best way to ease this traffic or ensure that traffic can easily make its way to your development. For example, a town planner might recommend building new side roads that surround your development so that customers or tenants can easily make their way into a parking lot of a shop or apartment complex, or into a new subdivision. A town planner might suggest changes to the speed limits in the area to protect children who may move into a subdivision, or suggest new stoplights be added around your development. This can make it easier for vehicle traffic to make their way into your new strip mall or shopping center, thereby increasing business.

Potential disputes

You may find that there will be disputes that arise from your proposed project; for example, someone who owns a nearby shopping center may not want yours to be located so close, or residents of a nearby subdivision may not want a new subdivision built if it means more traffic, crowded schools, and the like. A town planner can help to foresee these types of objections and disputes and then also help to mediate them, communicating between you and the other parties so that a resolution can be reached or changes can be proposed to the city council so that all parties are satisfied.

Use of public land

There may be public land surrounding the plot of land you've purchased for your development, and a town planner can discuss with you how it might be used to enhance your development. For example, they might propose that the city develop it into a public park, or erect a small school that would suit the needs of families that move into a residential subdivision. This can make your development more appealing to potential tenants and maximize your profit potential.