2. Briefly explain what planner’s responsibilities are and discuss appropriate actions of planners in the case below.
Case: An oil company decided to build a refinery on several thousand acres of tree-covered waterfront property which it owned. The land was zoned rural, and the oil company requested a change in zoning to a heavy industrial classification. The county planning staff opposed the rezoning and said that the area should be recognized as a valuable natural resource and preserved for recreational and residential uses. The staff was overruled by the county planning commission and subsequently by the county commissioners who approved the rezoning. A group of residents who lived near the refinery site took the case to court. One county planning staff member provided assistance on her own time (information and advice) to the citizens’ group in preparing their case. Is the county planner’s action ethical?
3. Some eminent domain cases, e.g. Kelo vs. the City of New London, Connecticut, led to unintended consequences and became quite controversial. Discuss the problems of eminent domain with some examples.