Our Work

New Issues, Tools and Case Studies in the Toolbox

Citizen planners and volunteers call us each week to ask for our help on issues ranging from protecting wildlife to restricting strip development to promoting good design. To help answer these requests, we developed our Community Planning Toolbox in 2007 and we regularly add new resources.
Many communities struggle with how to effectively engage residents in the planning process. To help, we have added an overview of public engagement to help people get started on designing a process that allows residents to share their views. We have also added a public participation tool –the design charette – that can be used to integrate skills and interests of a diverse group of people to generate design solutions.
Information on wildlife, natural areas and regional conservation and open space plans are now available thanks to a new grant from the Davis Conservation Foundation and assistance from our star volunteer Abby Miller. If you are interested in learning more about how a community has developed a conservation plan, check out the case study that features the Mad River Valley.
Finally, find out more about design review guidelines with a case study for the Calais hamlet of Kents Corner. When people think of design review districts, they usually picture a built-up area such as an historic neighborhood, but design review is equally appropriate in rural areas. Learn how the Calais district addresses everything from architectural style to building placement to landscaping, and structures them in a way that allows for significant flexibility in how they are applied.