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Reviewed 06/2011

Planner's Pocket Reference



Planning professionals address an array of community needs, including land use, transportation, parks and recreation, environmental resources, housing, commercial and industrial development, economic development, and infrastructure. As a result, planners must have at least a working understanding and ability to analyze a variety of subjects. They will encounter terminology and technical information from a variety of disciplines. Even planners that are highly specialized, such as transportation planners, must understand the interaction between transportation and land use, environment, economic, social, fiscal, legal, and other considerations. In some communities, especially small towns with small budgets, the person responsible for planning is not trained as a planner. Even a planner who is an exceptionally "quick study" will probably not have tools and knowledge to handle the variety of changing issues that planners encounter. Survival as a planner requires the ability to become quickly conversant on new issues and tools. That requires quick access to relevant reference materials and resources.

In an era of tight budgets, few planning offices can afford in-house libraries of all desirable reference materials. Time for on-the-job training is limited. Fortunately, there are a growing number of useful resources available on the Internet. This Web page locates and presents selected reference materials useful to professional and lay planners. It is intended to provide quick access to glossaries and government acronyms, online tutorials, legal reference material, useful technical tools and calculators (for area conversion, cost estimation and similar tasks) handbooks and models.

If you have information to share, or are aware of other sites we should link to, please contact Sue Enger, Planning Consultant, or call (206) 625-1300.

Why Plan/What's it All About? - Ammunition for Answering a Frequently Asked Question

Selected Online Reference Shelves

Speaking in Tongues - Online Glossaries and Acronyms

The Players


Technical Tools

Land Use Toolbox

Planning Law Reference Shelf

Model Codes and Plans

Online Manuals/Handbooks

Recommended Resource Books

Need more information?

Feel free to Ask MRSC. Washington cities, counties, and our contract partners can call or email MRSC for more information and advice - free of charge.