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Whole Planning Department Wiped Out

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We've watched how the public relations sector has been hit with layoffs related to the development slowdown--there's so little being built that there's nothing to promote. And now the city planners are being pink-slipped. "The Petaluma City Council voted Monday night to eliminate the city’s planning staff because of a lack of development activity and a $4.5 million budget deficit. Elimination of a planning department would be a remarkable turn of events anywhere in California, but the fact that this is occurring in Petaluma is downright shocking." As the California Planning & Development Report's Paul Shigly reports, Petaluma, which is north of San Francisco, is the city where voters approved a growth control initiative back in 1972. [CP&DR]