Mayor G.T. Bynum announced today that the City of Tulsa’s Planning Department will merge with the Indian Nations Council of Governments’ (INCOG) Planning Department, consolidating long-term and short-term planning efforts into a single entity and provide the public with a single point of contact for planning services.
INCOG currently has a contract with the City of Tulsa for short-term planning functions, including handling all requests for zoning and land division changes; and ensuring that rezoning requests, newly-developed plans, and land use studies comply with the City of Tulsa’s comprehensive plan (PLANiTULSA), zoning code, and development guidelines. INCOG also processes requests for zoning variances and special exceptions for the City of Tulsa Board of Adjustment and makes recommendations to the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission on behalf of the City of Tulsa.
The City’s Planning Department is currently responsible for long-term planning, including the development of plans that identify and prioritize community improvements for the public, such as small area plans and the City’s comprehensive plan (PLANiTULSA). Plans created by the Planning Department help set the stage for private investment that fosters economic development, public safety and quality of life.
“This merger will minimize overlap and duplication between the two planning departments, while streamlining the planning process for the public and ensuring a better coordination of our short-term and long-term planning efforts,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “INCOG has been a proven partner in planning through their management of the City’s Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment, and a trusted resource in planning for our community’s long-term transportation needs for the past several decades. Through our annual budgeting process, the City will maintain control over the goals and work product while improving service delivery and accountability.”
The City intends to sign a memorandum of understanding with INCOG for the city’s long-term planning services, which will be effective Jan. 1, 2019. The current planning budget will serve as the contract allotment for INCOG to handle the new service. Currently, 12 positions are filled within the City’s Planning Department and 12 positions will be transferred to INCOG for long-term planning services.
As part of the memorandum of understanding, INCOG will be responsible for working with the city to execute an annual work plan with set performance goals, objectives and benchmarks that help meet the city’s vision for planning needs and services.