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Planning and Sustainability

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Community Involvement Committee

Will all planning projects report to the CIC?

No. Projects related to the Comprehensive Plan that are large in scope or that may benefit and/or burden different communities will include CIC review and feedback as early in the project as possible. These projects will also check in with the CIC during the project and present an evaluation after the project is over. Other projects related to the Comprehensive Plan may come to the CIC for review if the Committee requests it or if staff choose to. The CIC will be kept updated about the status of all Comprehensive Plan-related projects. Planning projects that do not amend the Comprehensive Plan may also ask the CIC for review and feedback at staff’s discretion.

Will the CIC act as a watchdog?

The CIC will not take on an ombudsman role or a policing role, but it will be sensitive to issues rising up from individuals and organizations. Community members with concerns or suggestions about community involvement in Comprehensive Plan-related projects should first contact project staff. This will allow concerns to be addressed more directly and efficiently and give the CIC room to focus on the main body of their work. However, if these concerns are not addressed at the staff level, community members may bring their concerns to the CIC. The objective of the CIC in these situations is to identify what can be improved at a systemic level and to support staff to make those improvements.

How is this different than PIAC?

Both the CIC and Public Involvement Advisory Council (PIAC) are charged with improving the City’s involvement of the community in government planning and decision-making. Both do their work by setting standards (the City’s Public Involvement Principles and the goals and policies of Chapter 2) and supporting staff to meet those standards.

The PIAC provides citywide support and guidance on public involvement guidelines, policies and practices. In this role, PIAC focuses on specific issues with citywide application and provides input to individual bureaus on efforts to engage the public. Based on its charter and the capacity of volunteer members, PIAC does not work on individual projects within a single bureau, nor does it have any monitoring or oversight responsibilities.

The CIC’s role is limited to oversight of projects related to the Comprehensive Plan. It works on individual projects and has oversight and evaluation responsibilities. While the two committees’ roles are different, they are complementary. The CIC will benefit from ongoing communication with PIAC to share lessons learned and inform each other’s work.