The Abonmarche Planning Department | A Guide to Understanding The Planning Discipline

The Abonmarche Planning Department works with our partner communities to provide technical assistance and creative solutions to community needs. We do this by working with local stakeholders to develop strategies and plans based on a community’s unique character and assets, commonly referred to as place-based planning. This process combines public sentiment, data, and best practices to design plans that promote appropriate growth and development for each community individually based on their strengths and aspirations for the future. Here, we invite you to learn more about the Abonmarche approach to planning.

What Do Our Planners Do?

Our Planning Department is dedicated to working closely with local stakeholders to shape the present and future in our partner communities by assisting them to develop community-driven strategies for growth and development, from vision-setting to implementation. We work in partnership with our clients to discover, document, and create actionable strategies for success based on the unique needs and aspirations of each community’s residents, businesses, and the environment. We also work with public and private developers, navigating the planning and zoning processes to ensure compliance.

We work with communities to provide the following:

  • Master/Comprehensive Planning: Develop long-term, strategic plans that envision the future they desire, focusing on land use, transportation, infrastructure, and economic development.
  • Area/Neighborhoods Planning: Design creative solutions and strategies for a distinct area of a community such as a corridor or neighborhood allowing for an in-depth analysis.
  • Zoning and Land Use Compliance: Implement zoning ordinances and land use regulations to ensure orderly development, protect natural resources, and create harmonious neighborhoods.
  • Development Review: Evaluate proposed projects to ensure they align with existing plans, zoning codes, and community interests – balancing progress with preservation.
  • Public Engagement: Facilitate stakeholder engagement and outreach to ensure that the voices and concerns of the people who live and work in our partner communities are heard and integrated into planning decisions.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Incorporate environmentally friendly practices into planning strategies to foster a resilient and ecologically balanced community.
  • Infrastructure Planning: Ensure that a community’s infrastructure, such as transportation networks and utilities, keeps pace with growth and development.

How Do Our Planners Work?

Our team applies sound planning principles and tools to each project we are a part of. Depending on the project goals, solutions can include:

  1. Public Input and Participation: Public engagement is at the heart of our process. We facilitate community meetings, workshops, surveys, and online platforms to gather feedback and ensure inclusivity in our planning recommendations.
  2. Research and Data Analysis: We start by gathering and analyzing data on demographics, land use patterns, economic trends, and environmental factors. This data-driven approach forms the foundation of our planning recommendations.
  3. Collaboration: Our team collaborates closely with various stakeholders, including local government officials, community members, businesses, and other departments. Building partnerships ensures a holistic understanding of community needs and aspirations.
  4. Long-Term Visioning: We collaborate with our partner communities to craft long-term visions through master planning, considering projected population growth, economic development opportunities, and environmental sustainability.
  5. Zoning and Regulation: Applying meticulous zoning regulations and land use policies, we aim to strike a balance between encouraging growth and safeguarding the unique character of our communities.

Common Questions and Answers

1. How can urban planning impact a community?

Urban planning plays a crucial role in creating vibrant, equitable, and sustainable communities. It helps facilitate growth, manage urban sprawl, preserve green spaces, and improve infrastructure – in a manner consistent with a community’s character and goals while contributing to a higher quality of life for residents.

2. How can I get involved in the planning process?

We encourage community members to actively participate in the planning process. They can attend public meetings, provide feedback during public comment periods, and engage with us through our online platforms to have their voices heard.

3. How does zoning impact my property?

A zoning ordinance is a locally adopted document that regulates how land is used and creates standards for the way it can be developed. Understanding the zoning designation of your property can help you determine what types of projects are feasible on your land.

The Abonmarche Planning Department serves as the driving force behind the responsible growth and development of our partner communities. Through collaboration, research, and public engagement, we strive to create a sustainable and inclusive future for all. We hope this glimpse into the world of planning has shed light on the impact planning can have on your community and encourages you to be an active participant in shaping the community we envision together.

Reach out to our Planning team with questions or ideas your community is coming across – we are here to listen, learn, and grow, hand in hand with our vibrant partner communities. Contact Crystal Welsh, Senior Urban Planner, at

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