If a local college gives a city planner tickets to a sold-out football game, is it wrong to take them – even if the planner pays? Should a planning consultant bid on a project that has a clearly unrealistic timeframe? Can a planning director moonlight for another agency? For practicing planners, potential ethics violations abound, and the eye of public scrutiny never blinks. Planners need a guide, and now they have it: the first guidebook based on the current revision of the AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. The Ethical Planning Practitioner presents 76 scenarios, all real-life dilemmas based on the code's rules of conduct. Each scenario comes with tools to help planners explore the answers on their own, in a training session, or in a classroom. This vital handbook looks at everyday ethics the way planners need to see them, in black, white, and shades of gray – but most of all, clearly. It will not only instruct but inspire planners to strengthen the public's trust.
Introduction The AICP Code and APA Ethical Principles in Planning Principles to Which We Aspire * Rules of Conduct * The Ethical Conduct of Planners Guidance for Ethical Decision Making Scenarios: Introduction and Guidance * Number of Scenarios per Training Session * Selecting Scenarios For Individual Planners For Ethics Session Organizers Scenarios 1. Disagreement With Supervisor's Recommendation 2. Conflict With Supervisor 3. Proposed Change to First Redraft of Official Zoning Map 4. Protection of Environmentally Sensitive Land from Development 5. Community Development Block Grant Program Project Work Scope 6. Politically Influenced Population Projections 1 7. Minority Planner Acts as Advocate for Minority Neighborhood 8. Planners Oppose Their Own Department Director at Public Hearing 9. Recommendation for Housing Trust Fund Disapproved by Board 10. County Jail Proposal in City Center Neighborhood 11. University Professor Subcontracts for Work Involving State or University Funds 12. Junior Planner Assists Development Applicant 13. Potential Conflict With Public and Non profit Roles 14. Investment Opportunity in Jurisdiction of Work 15. Planning Consultant Considers Planning Commission Appointment 16. Public and Private Client Conflict 17. Public Planner Connects With Development Community on LinkedIn 18. Consistency in Zoning Administration 19. Planning Consultant Buys Lunch for Public-Sector Clients 20. Administrative Discretion: Recommending a Grant Recipient 21. Politically Influenced Population Projections 2 22. Consulting With Municipality Immediately After Quitting 23. Contractual Requirements of State for Land-Use Planning Grant 24. Recommendations Regarding Nearly Identical Rezoning Requests 25. Accessory Apartments Recommended as Affordable Housing 26. Disadvantaged Group Input 27. Affordable Housing Neighborhood 28. Urging a Modification of Exclusionary Zoning 29. Preparing Estimates of Transit Ridership and Revenue 30. Planner Chooses Between Planning Firm and Minority Student Intern 31. Authority Director Evaluates Proposals 32. Director Admonishes Planner for Excessive Volunteer Work 33. Use of Technology in Citizen Participation 34. Regional Agency Engaged in Multiple Planning Functions for County 35. Planner Posts Statement on Social Media 36. Disclosure of Potential Environmental Impacts 37. Information Shared WithNeighborhood Group 38. Planning Director Excludes Junior Planners' Observations 39. Reporter Requests All Information on Pending Development Project 40. Utility Company Maintenance Facility 41. Service on Consultant Proposal Review Committee 42. Planner Asked to Recommend Professionals 43. Use of One Firm's Product by Another Firm 44. Planner Prevented from Speaking Publicly in Opposition to Transportation Plan 45. Private Correspondence on Local Government Email System 46. City Manager Urges Change of Planning Staff Recommendation 47. Preparing Grant Applications for Free in Anticipation of Project Award for Fee S48. Executive Director of Council of Government Has History of Suspect Practices 49. Regional Planner Seeks Elected Position 50. Part-Time Consultant and Full-Time City Planner Job 51. Planning Director Opposes and Testifies in Court Against Rezoning Decision 52. Property to Be Rezoned Touches Property Owned by Family Member 53. Information Leaked Regarding Plans for Parking Deck Downtown 54. Structure With Historical Value About to Be Demolished 55. Council Member Shares Opinion Privately About Upcoming Rezoning 56. Preapplication Meeting With Developer 57. Archaeological Site Discovered in Environmental Impact Review 58. Consultant Without Prior Experience Pursues Work on a Fiscal Impact Study 59. Invoicing for Work Not Yet Performed 60. Unrealistic Work Deadline in Request for Proposal 61. Planner Writes Letter to the Editor 62. City Attorney Conflict 63. Use of Primary Employer's Equipment for Consulting Assignment 64. Developer and Public-Sector Planner Have Lunch Together 65. Valuables Found on Pending Development Site 66. Publication of Client's Report 67. Public Funds Used to Clean Clothing 68. Proposal to Travel for Training 69. Public Planners Offered Free, Hard-to-Get Tickets 70. Consultant Invites Potential Clients to Dinner 71. Real Estate Investment Along Proposed New Highway 72. Influencing Land-Use Plan Designation for Real Property You Own 73. Inspector/Planner Promotes His Own Inspection Company 74. Planner Evaluates Prior Employee for Employment Elsewhere 75. Planning Director Disciplines Junior Planner 76. Planner Responds to AICP Ethics Charge of Misconduct Interpretations and Conclusions Suggested Interpretations of the Code * Accept an assignment Adequate information Authority to make a binding, final determination * Decision makers * Employment * Other professionals * Planning issues * Planning process * Solicit prospective clients or employment * Conclusions Appendices Appendix A: AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Appendix B: State Ethics Laws Applicable to Local Government Employees