The Planning Commission in its current form dates back to a revision of the City Charter in 1947. At that time, the Charter stipulated that the Commission would be a nine-member board composed of: six citizens appointed by the Mayor,the Director of the Department of Public Works or his designee, a member of the City Council, and the Mayor or his representative.
The Charter also defined the key responsibilities of the Commission as:
- Preparing and updating plans showing the physical development of the City;
- Developing a capital budget and six-year capital development program for consideration of the Board of Estimates;
- Developing and maintaining a Comprehensive Master Plan for the City;
- Reviewing all proposals for the subdivision of land within the City for conformance to specified standards; and
- Reviewing all proposed amendments to the City's Zoning Ordinance and making recommendations to the City Council.
The Planning Commission relies on the staff of the Department of Planning to accomplish these mandates, as well as to carry out new and expanded responsibilities commissioners have assumed over the years. The Commission meets regularly throughout the year, and its meetings are open to the public.