North Dakota Statewide Planning Issues & Needs Survey

This survey is the foundation of an interim legislative study focused on identifying planning concerns across the state of North Dakota. The study is a cooperative effort between the ND Planning Association (NDPA), ND League of Cities, ND Association of Counties (NDACo), and ND Township Officers Association (NDTOA).
 
Audience for this survey: Zoning Administrators, Planners, Planning & Zoning Commission/Board members and elected officials of all North Dakota’s cities, counties and townships. If your role does not fall into one of those categories, please do not take the survey, but encourage individuals in those roles to complete the survey on behalf of your city/county/township.
 
Aims of this survey:
1) To gather baseline data about planning and zoning practices and resources from every city, county and township in North Dakota.
2) To find out what the most urgent planning and zoning challenges and needs are for your city/county/township.
 
Directions: this survey consists of 21 questions. All questions on the survey are required, unless otherwise indicated. For open-ended questions, please be as detailed as possible and offer as many examples or comments as you would like.

Notes:
1) individual-level survey results will not be shared. Data and responses will be aggregated into broader categories.
2) in this survey “Zoning Administrator” means the person within your city/county/township who handles planning and zoning related responsibilities, whether or not their official title reflects that role.

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* 1. Which choice best describes your role within the city/county/township you represent/work for?

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* 2. Please select the type of political subdivision that you represent/work for?

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* 3. What are the most significant, ongoing planning and zoning challenges your city/county/township faces? [select all those options that apply, and please list additional items if you wish]

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* 4. Please describe in greater detail the planning and zoning issues you listed in the previous question and what you believe the root causes of those issues are. [for example, if you selected “conflicts in extraterritorial areas,” please explain if these conflicts are due to resident complaints, lack of cooperation between neighboring city/county/townships in the joint extraterritorial area, etc.].

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* 5. Referring to the selections you made in question 3, what would be your preferred solutions to these issues?

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* 6. Please choose the option that most accurately completes the following sentence. Within the city/county/township I work for/represent, planning and zoning-related staff consists of____.

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* 7. Is ArcGIS mapping software available within your city/county/township to support planning/zoning activities?

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* 8. Please complete the following sentence with the option you agree with most. Neighboring city/county/townships have __________ resources to devote to planning, as compared to my city/county/township.

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* 9. How would you rate the functionality of your current Zoning Code/Zoning Ordinance (meaning internal consistency, completeness, and ease of use to interpret and apply on a regular basis)?

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* 10. In what year was the most current version of your Comprehensive/Long-range Plan adopted? [if your city/county/township does not have an adopted Comprehensive Plan, please write “none” in the blank. If you are unable to determine the exact date but believe it was more than 20 years ago, please write “20+” in the blank].

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* 11. For this question, "Planning & Zoning Commission" means the commission or board whose function it is to review and make recommendations to the full City/County/Township Board of Commissioners regarding planning & zoning matters. In some jurisdictions this body may alternately be known as a "Zoning Board" or other name.
Please select the statement(s) below that most accurately describe(s) the status of the Planning & Zoning Commission for your city/county/township and the process of replacing Planning & Zoning Commission members (you may select more than one statement, if applicable).

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* 12. If your city/county/township has an adopted Comprehensive/Long-range Plan, does the plan include a future land use map?

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* 13. What are the three greatest needs of your city/county/township, related to carrying out planning and zoning activities?

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* 14. In your city/county/township, are there barriers to effective planning that you believe require a legislative solution? (i.e. changes to North Dakota Century Code) If no, write "no" in the blank. If yes, please describe what legislative changes you would ideally like to see adopted by the state legislature.

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* 15. How urgent do you believe it is to achieve legislative changes, such as those you listed in the previous question? (on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being not urgent at all and 5 being extremely urgent). Only answer this question if you responded "yes" to the previous question.

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* 16. During the 2019 Legislative Session, House Bill 1297 sought to eliminate extraterritorial areas (ETAs) altogether (link to the bill text is here). The bill failed in the House. It is very likely that this bill will be introduced again in the 2021 legislative session. Please choose the statement below that you most agree with.

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* 17. Use the space below to provide a rationale for your answer choice in the previous question. (i.e. what ETA conflicts in particular does your city/county/township deal with or what Century Code revisions would you suggest, with respect to ETAs? If this rationale is the same information you provided in question 4, please answer “see question 4.”)

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* 18. During the 2019 Legislative Session, House Bill 1165 sought to allow any and all non-conforming residential structures to have automatic standing to be reconstructed, even if damaged beyond 50% of market value (link to the bill text and revisions are here). Passage of the bill would essentially allow non-conforming residential structures to persist indefinitely. The bill passed the House but failed in the Senate. This bill is certain to be introduced again in the 2021 legislative session. How important is it to you that your state association (NDPA, ND League of Cities, NDACo, or NDTOA) fight against the passage of this bill?

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* 19. If you responded “Extremely important” or “Important” to the previous question, describe the issues that passage of HB 1165 or a similar bill would create for your city/county/township, if any.

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* 20. Please list the ND state legislative district(s) in which the city/county/township you represent/work for is located. For cities over 15,000 population, please type “large city” into the answer box. A map of legislative districts can be found here.

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* 21. Please use this space to make any additional comments that you believe are important for your state association and the state legislature to understand about planning activities, needs or issues in your region.

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