Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

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Tanoujin Milestone
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Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Tanoujin Milestone »

Recently we had some irritation about the proceedings of the LUC. The LUC wants to improve Friedsee, and some work was done without further consultation. The LRA critizised this and the LUC chair resigned. Now there is a consensus the CDSL 21-01 Permanent Land-Use Commission Act needs some overhauling. https://cdsdemocracy.org/faqs/cdsl-21-0 ... ssion-act/

I would like to make 5 initial comments on that:

1) We should not leave the RA alone in adapting a law to the current situation, but see this law as a means to an end and adapt our *processes* of long term planning on the base of a realistic analysis of the situation. So everyone who would like to see cooperative building, parceling, landscaping or even the set up of new regions with a minimum of roleplay, bureaucracy and waste of energy should help to get this on the right tracks.

2) I want to stress the LUC is a creature of the RA. To simplify things it should work like any other Committee or Commission: take up a well defined task, report back and be ready to not only talk about opinions. It should be cristal clear that the LUC has no executive power and does not work for the executive, it exclusively works for the RA to present realistic solutions and solve existing problems.

3) Of course any Chancellor with the slightest idea of the job will closely work with the LUC to avoid extensive discussions with the RA after the fact. It will be the chancellor's duty to get the work done, so they should make sure to be heared in the early stage of the planning.

4) And of course our best Artisans will gather at the LUC, alongside with Citizens eager to monitor the process, have their say and maybe learn about the possibilities. And the Chancellor will find their volunteers to get the work done exactly at that comission. If the same person who made the proposal is to realize the project we have an ideal situation: qualified planning and exact implementation. But that does not mean we can short circuit public control!

5) The way the LUC members are recruited until a prescribed number is reached in a certain proportion to represent different parties and groups is nonsense. We have those capable builders and interested Citizens - call them at the begin of the term to join the LUC and let them.

So far my humble opinion and enough for the day.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Tanoujin Milestone »

Today I want to examine what the LUC is like and what we should keep IMHO.

The first thing that comes to my mind is, that we have the most capable people there. And yes, it should be an inviting environment for our builders where they can prepare their contributions. The LUC is able to work on its own, flaws and problems are actively searched, installations that need an update are identified. These people walk the sims, they inspect what is going on, they are present.

One could say they treat the public ground as if it was their own garden. That is very good. And I understand the temptation to just do things. But as the LRA has already stated at the last LUC meeting:

https://cdsdemocracy.org/faqs/nl-5-7-civil-service-act/
D. Transparent Region Development Guidelines

Permanent changes to public land, outside of the seasonal tree and ground texture changes and official CDS temporary structures for events, have to be announced in the forums and allow a comment period of 2 weeks, to make sure the interests of neighboring parcel owners are taken into account. Public spaces have to be developed in accordance with policy and changes need to be subject to public comment and review.
And I believe it is not too much asked to make a little forum post, not about major or minor, but *permanent* changes, like „In consensus with my colleagues at the LUC I want to change the pathways in Friedsee like that: yaddayadda, see example on following parcel (Landmark)“ and inform the RA, that is, wait for the RA to give their ok. This would further to bundle changes in bigger packages as well, instead of fiddling here and there without a greater picture. The more we had a documentation on the forums, what was changed over the years, and I personally think that would make a lot of sense. It worked in the past, so, why not go on with it and code it directly into the LUC act?

I would like to see the structure kept, Chair, Pro Tempore, Secretary. But if you look closer, the Act prescribes a modus of voting that is not followed. Let’s take the factual mode of voting into the Act.

The LUC can work on request, as the law states, but we should give them the freedom to make their own agenda, as it already is the case in reality.

The LUC has a cooperative mode. Working plans are not developed by competitive bids, which would double and triple the amount of work. We should be realistic here. We are not a town paying competitors for the best plan of a new church. We are a community with volunteers knowing each other very well, with an established, but open team of designers. Lets do away with the principle of competition and go on like that.

The LUC works with the covenants, that is a valuable contribution. It is inspecting private land use and can recommend waivers or ask for enforcement. But it is the responsibility of the chancellor to enforce or grant a waiver in cooperation with the RA.

The LUC does not hire Inspectors outside its own body. That is a fact, and it should be kept.

I would be happy to read your comments.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Sudane Erato »

I agree with everything that Tan says. The only question I would raise is re point 5 in the first post... the composition. Perhaps it need not be this complex as it is now... I can't keep track! But the composition SHOULD be an effort to include many viewpoints and points of view.


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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Tanoujin Milestone »

Thank you for the feedback and your support, Sudane. About the composition: possibly we could use Guillaume's ideas about direct democracy at the LUC? If we had a core group that constitutes at the begin of every term and invite everyone to participate, we could have the affected Citizens at the table when it is about their neighborhood, for example Shep when it is about Friedsee. This would make sure we potentially have the maximum of PoVs included. I would support to keep the gate open for anyone. Gaius?
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Em Warden »

In connection with this discussion of the responsibilities of RA and LUC respectively, I have a practical example.

I would like to suggest a new road or path. There is a parcel in Monastery, on the shore of the small lake, with no road leading to it. It has been that way for years. It is necessary to trespass on other people's parcels, or take a dive down the steep slopes from the road high above to access it. I thought "someone" would eventually fix it, but now I have given up hope. (There is no official road to the lake itself either. You have to criss-cross around as best you can to get there :) Maybe an elevator, down from and up to the Monastery road, or a cableway, would be a nice solution...)

Since roads and paths are being laid out right now, I should take the opportunity to send out a signal. But reading the discussion above, about "the order of command", I need to ask: what is the correct way for a common citizen to suggest this new road/path? At a RA meeting under "Citizens' Concerns", or at a LUC meeting? On the Forums? In a special mailbox on the Rathaus wall for citizens' ideas?

I guess that this kind of thing has to be formalized in some way.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Tanoujin Milestone »

@ Em: RA, LUC, Forums: any way works. I can adopt your proposal if you do not want to push it alone. I frequently attend the LUC meetings as an ordinary citizen and will take the opportunity to bring the topic up there.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Rosie Gray »

Em Warden wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:37 am In connection with this discussion of the responsibilities of RA and LUC respectively, I have a practical example.

I would like to suggest a new road or path. There is a parcel in Monastery, on the shore of the small lake, with no road leading to it. It has been that way for years. It is necessary to trespass on other people's parcels, or take a dive down the steep slopes from the road high above to access it. I thought "someone" would eventually fix it, but now I have given up hope. (There is no official road to the lake itself either. You have to criss-cross around as best you can to get there :) Maybe an elevator, down from and up to the Monastery road, or a cableway, would be a nice solution...)

Since roads and paths are being laid out right now, I should take the opportunity to send out a signal. But reading the discussion above, about "the order of command", I need to ask: what is the correct way for a common citizen to suggest this new road/path? At a RA meeting under "Citizens' Concerns", or at a LUC meeting? On the Forums? In a special mailbox on the Rathaus wall for citizens' ideas?

I guess that this kind of thing has to be formalized in some way.
Em, the best way to bring something forward like that is to attend the LUC meeting and present it to the members there. You could also just ask an LUC member to present it, if you can't attend yourself... or take up Tan's offer. I have also noted the lack of road access to the Monastery parcel you mention. It's not an easy parcel to get to with a road or path, and I guess it's not been done in the past because Monastery is a 'homestead' and always the prims have been watched. However, I personally think that it could and should be done and if we need to find prims for it that there are some being used elsewhere that aren't as necessary.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Rosie Gray »

I also agree with most of what Tan is proposing. The piece of CDSL 21-01 that I find the most useless is:
VI-C: PUBLIC WORKS
Upon a request from the RA or the Chancellor, the Land Use Commission shall call for bids for either the planning and/or the construction of Public works, either new, or for maintenance, to be awarded on a competitive basis. Such bids shall be from citizens of the CDS, or, under special circumstances, from foreign contractors, and shall include methods, timeline and payment schedules, as well as design elements. The Commission shall forward the winning bid(s) and alternates, if required, to the RA for approval. Once approved, the Commission shall, through its inspection team, work with the Contractor(s) to facilitate the timely and coherent completion of the project. If the RA determines that any project is sufficiently complex, it shall direct the Commission to add a method of continuing the project, in the event that the RA, upon advisement of the Commission, would decide that the initial contractor cannot fulfill its obligation. Nothing in this section shall limit the ability of a commissioner, engaged in the activities of a contractor, to continue activities within the Commission, except in the role of an inspector on any project where there might be any conflict of interest, or when the Commission is discussing or voting on issues related to a project in which the Commissioner is, or will be, involved. In addition, should a Commissioner participate in discussions, or vote, on an issue involving any given project, such Commissioner shall be prohibited from participating in that project.
This is all completely unnecessary. We never ask for 'bids' on work, we never pay for work. Indeed most of the time, with some exceptions, the components for upgrading have been donated by the persons doing the work. We are a small community with limited resources, including people that want to participate in this kind of thing. What I think would be more appropriate here would be an easy to follow 1.2.3. on how to proceed so that it's not confusing. i.e.:

1) LUC makes recommendations for work to the RA
2) RA approves recommended work
3) Chancellor assigns work

That is simplistic, but I'm sure you see what I mean.

I also agree with Sudane that I think that the balance of participants in the LUC is important to keep. Perhaps it should be stated somewhere that citizens are always welcome to attend the meetings and to bring forward a suggestion for the LUC to consider.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Em Warden »

Thank you, Tan and Rosie.

I gladly accept Tan's offer. Maybe the path to that Monastery parcel could lead from AM or CN to save prims for Monastery. It is in fact close to both those sims.

Rosie's "simplistic" 1-2-3 work modell appeals to me a great deal.

I remember a time long ago when I was the RA representative to LUC, and RA was not much involved except in major changes. LUC then had to communicate directly with a Chancellor that was online once every two weeks or so, because his RL was very demanding. LUC had to send the arguments for their suggestions directly to him in a notecard; he would then consider it and give his judgement... The roles of the Chancellor, RA and LUC in the development of CDS were overlapping and confusing. Now we seem to finally come to grips with that situation.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Lyubov »

Em: At Tuesday's RA meeting, Tan mentioned your request during RA Member Concerns. As a result, the RA passed a motion directing the LUC to explore creating road access to your parcel in Monastery. Almut Brunswick, the Chair of the LUC, was present during this RA discussion and agreed to add this item to the LUC's agenda and to speak to you directly about it.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Em Warden »

Thank you for your kind concern Lyubov, but it is not my parcel... Last time I visited it was available for rent. I'll IM Almut about it.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Tanoujin Milestone »

DRAFT v1: New Land Use Commission Act

The Representative Assembly (RA), in accord with its constitutionally mandated service role to “perform long term planning,” shall establish a permanent commission, called the CDS Land-Use Commission (LUC).
The LUC shall be relaunched at the beginning of every term as follows:
The RA sends one of its members and two Citizens from the Citizenry-at-large. The Guild or a subsequent approved NGO sends two members. The chancellor sends one representative.

The LUC shall be composed of design experts and interested citizens and include a variety of viewpoints and points of view. The RA expects close cooperation with the chancellor and affected citizens and a democratic mode of decision making as usual at any RA committee.
The LUC shall select a chair, a Pro Tempore and a secretary who shall publish the meeting transcripts and keep the the minutes.
Meetings of the Commission shall be held at published times, at a frequency dependent on the demands of its mandate, but not less than once per Month. The LUC is expected to welcome any Citizen at their meetings and be open to their suggestions.

The purpose of the LUC is to work out concepts of region development and usage both on public and private land, to keep the covenants up to date and introduce new technologies as they becomes available. The LUC may inspect public and private land to find problematic spots that need improvement. It has to be responsive to demands from the RA, but may set its own agenda. It shall report to the RA at every RA meeting.

The LUC shall forward recommendations to the RA, be it projects to approve or regulations to consider. The RA may approve recommended work and discuss and pass regulations as it sees fit. Approved work is forwarded to the chancellor who’s duty is to assign the work.

Permanent changes to public land, outside of the seasonal tree and ground texture changes and official CDS temporary structures for events, have to be announced in the forums and allow a comment period of 2 weeks, to make sure the interests of neighboring parcel owners are taken into account. Public spaces have to be developed in accordance with policy and changes need to be subject to public comment and review.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Delia Lake »

I agree with what Sudane and Rosie have posted. I want too raise an additional small modification that I'd like to have included in any changes. That is updating of plants. As technology has improved and mesh plants become significantly better in quality, it would be helpful to allow for replacement of old technology plants in the landscape with better versions, for instance although it is not a seasonal change it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to have to post for a 2 week comment period if I can replace an old technology rock with a very similar looking walkable mesh one or an old prim shrub with a very similar mesh one in a landscape grouping. It''s not seasonal change but makes sense to me to allow us to make small, continual upgrading of our CDS landscapes that doesn't change the character of a setting but improves it.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Rosie Gray »

I agree with what Delia has said here too.
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Re: Reform of the CDS Land Use Commission (LUC)

Post by Em Warden »

I also agree with Delia about gradually exchanging "old technology" rocks and plants with mesh varieties, without having to obtain formal agreement. Not only are they usually better texture quality, but often enough they even have lower land impact.
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